Planning the road trip title

Drive Melbourne to Gold Coast via the
A39 Newell Highway

So it was time for another road trip. This time being our youngest sons birthday and the April school holidays, He wanted to go and see all our family living up on the gold coast.

Of course the wife and I jumped on the Idea, We'll take you to the gold coast for your birthday present this year and we get a holiday for it!

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So the planning began. Do we be like "normal" people and fly? There are obvious benefits to flying over driving but Becky and I both enjoy a decent drive and with the Kids we all find ways to keep entertained in the car. Also having done this drive before we know what to expect so we decided to drive again. Plus it should work out slightly cheaper than flying and the benefit of having a car while in the Gold Coast is HUGE.

Before you consider doing the drive:
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    - Can you drive a motor vehicle? (pretty important)
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    - Can you handle driving for long periods?
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    - Do you have a driving partner? I don't recommend doing the drive by yourself
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    - Do you have a good singing voice as singing to all types of music will happen.
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    - Does your driving partner have a good singing voice?
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    - Do you have a reliable car? (Try not to use one that is about to break down)

 

The Route

There are a couple ways to travel from Melbourne to Gold Coast, If you want take the more tourist/scenic route then the Coastal Via the M31/M1 through Sydney. But for us all the fun stuff was in the Gold Coast so we wanted the fastest route and the easier route. So the Inland Newell Highway would be best suited.
Having traveled this way before a couple times, We know it is really well sign posted and easy to follow, Pretty much follow the A39 all the way. Check out the Google Map
Leaving Melbourne you just need to head out and get onto the Hume Freeway M31 then go on the M39 towards Shepparton which is where the A39 starts, And you can follow that all the way through to QLD
The roads in places are long, straight and flat which is where the good singing voice really shines through but it makes for easy driving. For a whole website on attractions and towns along the Newell Highway check out this site

The Car

It is really important to have a reliable car on this route, If anything was to happen or break down there are long stretches where the nearest town could be 80kms or more away. I am far from a mechanic, probably the furthest from a mechanic actually. I really dislike the workings of cars. All I want is for it to get me from A to B so if anything broke on the trip we would be screwed so roadside assistant would be a good idea. A car service before going is also a good idea, But at very least make sure the water, Oil is topped up and the tires are at the right pressure.

We are planning on taking my wife's little Kia Rio LV on this trip as it should be really good on petrol, But I'll let you all know how that goes in my next post :-)

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Travel time and Distance

This part is really up to and what you think you can achieve in a days driving, For us we always aim to complete it over two days, I DO NOT RECOMMEND DOING IT IN ONE DAY. Personally I think two days is achievable by most people but if you want to take it over 3 days then that will allow a good amount of rest at the end of each day. Remember it is 1730km you need to travel. Be prepare to be putting in 12 hour days on the road when you include lunch stops and breaks every couple hours

Our Aim on day one is leave at 4am (but we live on the other side of Melbourne in the South East, So it takes 1 hour just to get to the start of the Hume Freeway and out of Melbourne!) and drive as far we can in Day 1 then hopefully cruise into Gold Coast mid afternoon day 2. Last time doing the trip we aimed for Dubbo (wouldn't recommend staying here if you are wanting to save $$) and got there around 3pm so we are aiming to go further this time around, Ill let you know how far we get in the next post about the trip!

Remember:
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    - Have ample music! CDs / MP3 / iPods and a large range as you wont have Radio signal for much of the drive
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    - Always have food and drinks in the car with you in case anything happens.
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    - Don't push yourself, If you're tired take a break
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    - Alot of the little towns do not have 24 hour Petrol stations so beware, and use the never under half a tank rule
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    - Entertain yourself, The trip can be long so if you can keep entertained it makes it 100% better
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    - Most towns have Motels along the way which close around the 7:30/8:00pm mark so aim to get there before 7pm

 

The most important thing to remember is to have fun! Enjoy alot of the scenery along the way and embrace the experience. It actually is really enjoyable

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