What's the best way to drive from Adelaide to Brisbane?
Also there's the unfortunate side effect that you need to turn around and drive back. The 2100 kilometres could be covered in:
- one day (dangerous),
- two days (unenjoyable), or
- three days (leisurely).
Combined with the return trip, that's amlost a week out of my holidays. Since I've been doing the long distance relationship thing, where my girlfriend lives in Brisbane and I live in Adelaide, I can think of better things to do with a week off. :)
Now it's different - this is a one way trip. And, Dad's going to fly down and do the trip with me. We're both kind of strange in that we'd enjoy driving through country towns, reading plaques, looking at Anzac memorials and that kind of thing. It will be nice, too, as part of the reason I decided to move back to Brisbane was because Dad's cancer is progressing along a path none of us would choose. :(
- Adelaide to Mildura,
- Mildura to Forbes,
- Forbes to Dubbo, and
- into Brisbane through Goondoowindi,
- for a trip distance of 2,105 km, according to Whereis.
- According to the paper map I purchased, the trip distance this way would be 2,035 km, due to a slightly different way to get from Adelaide to Hay and discrepancies in the exact distances. These are probably because the Whereis searches include a few kilometres at either end to get to the "City Centre", where the paper map might not.
But this route seems strange - Whereis tells you to go from Goondoowindi to Brisbane via Toowoomba, when the commonly accepted route is via Warwick. However an old map I consulted shows 358km Goondoowindi-Warwick-Brisbane, and Whereis shows 356 Goondoowindi-Toowoomba-Brisbane, so there's not much difference at all. And the Toowoomba road is a better road, so maybe they're right on that count.
But I know that Whereis' database for Adelaide is less complete than for the eastern states - most streets don't have street number information, for example. And you could hardly expect them to have a complete database with comparative times for outback New South Wales. Waaaaaay outback. So maybe there's a more direct way.
Looking at a map of Australia, the "Southern Route" seems to cover two sides of a triangle - it's almost due east for 1,000 km, then turn left and head due north for 1,000 km. Surely if you can go in a straight line it would be closer to 1,500 km, as the crow flies?
So, there's a couple of other routes I wanted to have a look at:
- Adelaide to Broken Hill, 511 km
- Broken Hill to Cobar via Wilcannia, 457 km
- Cobar to Bourke, 161 km
- Bourke to Moree via Walgett, 447 km
- Moree to Brisbane via Goondoowindi, 475 km
- for a trip distance of 2,051 km - 20 km LONGER than the "long way".
The advantage of this route would be that you get to see the "real" outback. Also, Mum's family is near Walgett, so we could drop in and see them on the way through. However it's actually longer, a lot more of a boring drive, and a lot further between towns.
There's also a "shortcut" from Cobar to Walgett via Nyngan I worked out, which tried to avoid the "two sides of a triangle" problem where you have to head north to Bourke then west to Walgett. It turned out to be 3 km longer.
There's also the problem of where to stop for the night, when trying to break the trip into 3 stages. Wilcannia is a pretty rough place at night, by all accounts, but Broken Hill is too close to Adelaide, and Cobar's a bit too far. On the second night, Collarenebri might be ok.
If you go the Southern Route, the trip breaks up nicely:
- 677 km on the first day and stay at Hay,
- 662 km on the second day and stay at Coonabarabran, (could stay at the regional centre of Dubbo, but that makes Day 2 very short and Day 3 too long.)
- 696 km on the third day, arriving home before dark.
We have decided to go this way, as we'll be doing the trip in a 16 year old car and the southern route has a lot denser population. Also, there'll be more parks, plaques and tourist sites along the main highway.
Now just have to find nice places to stay, in Hay and Coonabarabran. Any suggestions?
Coming soon: Accomodation recommendations, detailed daily travel plans.