We see it all the time on various Facebook groups….
“Planning the Big Lap but only got a few months. 2 small kids and a dog. What’s the best pet friendly places, free camps and any other tips?”
Well in case you didn’t know a trip around Australia on the main coastal road is about 14,500km & that doesn’t include a side trip to Tassie! And according to several sources, the total time taken for a non-stop drive along the main coastal roads has been calculated to be around 7.5days.
That’s ‘DAYS’ driving all day and night!!
Or roughly 48 days in total if only driving approximately 300Km’s a day & stopping overnight.
Of course we’re pretty sure no-one’s going to do the lap quite so fast although we did find this…
"Six days, 16 hours and 27 minutes, to be exact – that’s how long it took us to drive around this vast country in our marathon Ford Falcon XD.” - Source: Which Car
So what can you expect to see on this ‘fast-lap’?... Well quite a lot – but don’t blink or you’ll miss it!
Of course the reality is that there is so much to see here in Australia, even if you travelled full-time for 10 years or more you’ll never actually see everything let alone enjoy time anywhere!
There are literally hundreds of small & medium sized regional towns along with the major cities in each state, coastal walks/drives, desert camps, farmstays, national parks and tropical jungles. Plus all the iconic features such as the Blue Mountains, Uluru, Great Barrier Reef and much MUCH more!
At the time of writing we’ve been on the road full-time 14months. Our ‘plan’ – not that there ever was one – was to do the Zig-Zag tour of Australia (via Dan Murphy’s!) – no rush.
No fuss. Just the three of us – Kaye, Brian & Chica our 16yr old Toy Poodle.
We like to think of ourselves as ‘wanderers’ rather than nomads. Instead of single overnight stays (unless it’s just as a rest stop until the next location) we tend to mostly hang around anywhere from a week or two to several months. The longest being Toowoomba for 6 months – but we were officially ‘locked down’ due to COVID-19 ok?? ?
The best thing about hanging around in any location is that you get time to get a feel for the local community.
For instance we had week+ long stays in some of the smaller coastal towns on our trip from Sydney via Brisbane to Cairns with the intention of only staying there a week at the most but managed to ‘fall in love’ with the place. 4 months later we headed back down south over a 2 week period!
At the time of writing we’re now in Hervey Bay on the Fraser Coast QLD.
Again we’ve ‘fallen in love’ and enjoying the people and the very relaxed lifestyle of this small coastal town.
Where to next? – Who knows… Yes we will move on from each place – albeit a bit reluctantly mostly but there are still plenty of places we want to check out.
And you should too - No rush - No fuss... just do it !!
Story & Photos (c) 2020 Brian Pickering