Driving the Nullarbor - Perth to Melbourne

Harvey Leadpipe

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Some people love to drive, see the countryside and take their time doing it. Not me. And will never do it again. Twice is enough.

My in-laws are in Esperence, so the first leg when we did it was Perth - Esperence to go and see them. After that, we've done Esperence - Melb in 2 days. Esperence - Port Augusta day/night 1 (that's a long drive). Port Augusta - Essendon day 2.

I'm happy to have an easy day the day before, take off at 3am and roll from there.

And agree with others, way cheaper to fly these days.
 
Jul 19, 2012
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The old man and I are planning on doing the drive in his VE SS later this year. Would I be allowed to drive it in SA and Victoria or should we take another car? In WA, P platers are allowed to drive V8's, but IIRC, not in SA or Vic.
 

PurpleHaze7

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Planning to do this (drive Perth to Melbourne) with 3 mates for the GF.
What is the quickest way to do it?
Leaving Wednesday midday, would we make it to the G on time?
Any tips?
 

juss

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Planning to do this (drive Perth to Melbourne) with 3 mates for the GF.
What is the quickest way to do it?
Leaving Wednesday midday, would we make it to the G on time?
Any tips?
It'll take you about 36-40 hours driving time, so in theory you can make it, but it will limit your stops and you'll be doing some pretty long legs.
I recently drove home from QLD to Melbourne, which was about 18-20 hours drive time. From that what I've learnt is you don't want to be driving at night, it's dangerous, more draining and if you did break down or need to stop in the middle of nowhere it's better to do it in daylight.
If you want it to be more comfortable, I'd leave the Tuesday morning around 8am, drive til 6 or 7pm. Stop for lunch and then enjoy dinner and chill out ina cheap motel and get an early night. That's about 11 hours, do another 11 on Wednesday, then maybe 5 or 6 hours each on Thursday/Friday. Enjoy the sights and towns along the way in that time.

When you factor in motels, petrol, possible other car fees like oil, coolant, tyres, pre drive service, etc. it might be cheaper to just fly? Because I'm assuming you have to then drive back? That's probably 7-8 day trip with the drive. Why not fly and have a 3 or 4 day weekend in Melbourne?
 

PurpleHaze7

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Working it's way up to $1500 each way for airfares, and we won't find out about tickets until Monday. Obviously going will be a bit of a rush, but we plan to take our time coming back, enjoy the experience more.

It's a bit of a mad idea, but if it's possible it will be worth it!
Any recommendations on hiring a car, or taking your own?
 

juss

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Working it's way up to $1500 each way for airfares, and we won't find out about tickets until Monday. Obviously going will be a bit of a rush, but we plan to take our time coming back, enjoy the experience more.

It's a bit of a mad idea, but if it's possible it will be worth it!
Any recommendations on hiring a car, or taking your own?
Fair enough. If one of you have a reliable car, no point hiring one. Its just an extra expense. Driving from QLD to Melb there are a fair few service stations along the road home so you can stop and refuel or grab a drink/bite pretty often. Might be worth checking how often they occur along the road your taking. 2 things that will be your friends are those servo/cafe stops and highway towns with motels.
 

AxialMat

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Planning to do this (drive Perth to Melbourne) with 3 mates for the GF.
What is the quickest way to do it?
Leaving Wednesday midday, would we make it to the G on time?
Any tips?
Been across the Nullabor many times growing up( Perth to Brisbane and back when I was 6 in '02, and Perth to Adelaide and back 4 times between '07 and '12) . Last time my family went across to Adelaide we did it in three days, so it shouldn't be too hard if you make Adelaide- Melbourne one day trip.

We went from Perth to Balladonia first night (though you could possibly make it to Eucla if you're keen). From Balladonia to Ceduna, then Ceduna to Adelaide. Don't think any of those stretches is much longer than adelaide to Melbourne.

I'd encourage you to get your car serviced if it's making the trip. Place plenty of water and a jerry of fuel incase. I'd avoid stopping at Nullabor for anything other than a stretch. Fuel there ain't cheap, and their accommodation isn't all that flash either.

You'll be driving for hours at a time, so heaps of music or chatty friends are a must. Take a CB incase, truckies are your mates if sh*t does hit the fan (which is unlikely if you're prepared).

Would also be getting on the phone now to all the road houses you intend to stay at. They will be packed otherwise (if they aren't already).

On the way back, I recommend you detour down to Streaky Bay in SA. Gorgeous little town with a cracking pub/motel. 10/10 do recommend! Safe travels mate :thumbsu:
 
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lewigie

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Been across the Nullabor many times growing up( Perth to Brisbane and back when I was 6 in '02, and Perth to Adelaide and back 4 times between '07 and '12) . Last time my family went across to Adelaide we did it in three days, so it shouldn't be too hard if you make Adelaide- Melbourne one day trip.

We went from Perth to Balladonia first night (though you could possibly make it to Eucla if you're keen). From Balladonia to Ceduna, then Ceduna to Adelaide. Don't think any of those stretches is much longer than adelaide to Melbourne.

I'd encourage you to get your car serviced if it's making the trip. Place plenty of water and a jerry of fuel incase. I'd avoid stopping at Nullabor for anything other than a stretch. Fuel there ain't cheap, and their accommodation isn't all that flash either.

You'll be driving for hours at a time, so heaps of music or chatty friends are a must. Take a CB incase, truckies are your mates if sh*t does hit the fan (which is unlikely if you're prepared).

Would also be getting on the phone now to all the road houses you intend to stay at. They will be packed otherwise (if they aren't already).

On the way back, I recommend you detour down to Streaky Bay in SA. Gorgeous little town with a cracking pub/motel. 10/10 do recommend! Safe travels mate :thumbsu:
Not sure if he's heading there anymore.. ;)

I'll be doing the same trip next week if we win tomorrow. Gonna be a longgggggg drive. Especially with minimising night time driving to avoid hitting roos.
 

AxialMat

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Not sure if he's heading there anymore.. ;)

I'll be doing the same trip next week if we win tomorrow. Gonna be a longgggggg drive. Especially with minimising night time driving to avoid hitting roos.
There aren't as many roos out there then you'd think. Can easily get away at 3am and not see a roo. It's weird.
 

JoondalupJ

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Well, anyone got any tips? Traps for young players? Advice?

Will allowing 4 full days be enough? Too rushed?

Recommended stops to avoid night driving?
Its a good trip. Some really long stretches but I would head to Balladonia , first day, next day make for Ceduna, then Port Augusta, if you don't want to go via Adelaide , although that's a good way to go too, you can go across through places like Clare and head sort of south through the Barossa, or go past Port Pirie to Adelaide. But 4 days is a good time to not rush.
You can have 3 sleeps heading through and get into Melbourne on the evening of the 4th day, easy. Beautiful roads , lots and lots of Road Trains at certain parts of the day and night on the long stretches. Better to travel all day from early morning to evening, severe roo problems for cars in the dusk, maybe camels , though we never saw any. be careful, plan your trip , lots of wedgies , it is a great trip.
If you don't want to go all the way to Balladonia you can go to Norseman first , but we felt, in stopping at Norseman that we should have gone on another 2 3 hundred ks we did have a small time frame and we did have to make up one day travel, a very very long day but you don't need to do that relax.
Book your sleeping places before you leave Perth, unless you can sleep in a van or car, Eucla is a good stop too.
But if you can do 10 to 12 hour driving day, stop for lunch have breaks, do it driving relaxed, then sleep overnight . You book a place or you can have a beer or something at the end of the driving day. it is easy in four days , if you never done it before.
We did it last December, I've done it on about 10 occasions and back , we also are driving again in this next December.
Its a great trip. Take some music with you. You'll love it.
 

JoondalupJ

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Have done it a few times now. Leaving next Wednesday to do it again

ETDM is spot on with a lot of his advice.

I am putting new tyres on, had a full service last month, will take a jerrycan of fuel and one of water. Depending on your love of driving and your available time and what you want to look for the time can vary.

The first time I did Adelaide Perth I had a wife and a 2 year old son, we also had a Shell map which located service stations along the way..they averaged 400-600kms apart which was good as my car did 700kms on a tank. We planned 3 days and stayed at Nullarbor ..about 1100km from Adelaide. Just before you get there stop at the whale watching platform... we didnt see any whales on that trip but the views of the cliffs is awesome.

Next day was Nullarbor to Norseman and as noted keep an eye on the views ..some real corkers. Eucla is awe isnpiring as you turn left down the hill the bight opens up for you and you can visualise how a long ago ocean lapped against the hills to your right. Rising back out of the valley you get to Madura :mad: the dearest place for fuel on the whole trip . The 147km stretch of the Nullarbor was interesting but ultimately boring... and not flat..it dips and rises to break the mind. Norseman is booooring.

Norseman to Perth is 720kms if you turn right and take the Kalgoorlie rd...1400 if you turn left and go via Esperance

Now I am on my own...well driving to Adelaide I am .. I do it in about a combined 32 hours. Perth to Ceduna 3am to 10pm and then a rest then Ceduna Adelaide the next morning.

Learn how to do the 1 finger steering wheel wave ...and if a truck driver indicates make sure its a quick indicator flick..that is a signal the road is clear and you can overtake..but still take care

Speeding...Harvey said do 150km... I wouldnt ... if you have cruise control do about 10kms above the limit until you get to Ceduna..then set it to 130-140, whatever you feel comfortable with. Ceduna to Norseman is pretty open for speeding ... only areas I take care is around Eucla , Madura and Norseman and also the Nullarbor stretch... but after Norseman drop back to 10km above

I also fitted a CD player in my car as radio is non existent for patches..apart from local ABC . Your phone will also NOT WORK from Ceduna to Norseman ..but hey 1200kms without a phone doesnt mean much except if your broken down:mad:

Take your time and enjoy it and dont be scared by it ..and stay out of my way next Wednesday
If your in a hurry, 3am to 10pm is a hell of a long day. Its a good drive to have time , drive the day fully, then stop rest the night , have a beer , bingo, good run.
 

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