‘Freedom Explorers’ part 1: Trip planning

We love receiving traveller’s stories. Keith Skinner’s Dig Tree Trip in August 2019, is a little different. The first blog is all about the planning, where he outlines his methods and way of travelling this enormous and amazing land.

Part 1 by Keith Skinner

If you’re my type; the type I’ll call Freedom Explorers then I would suggest we share some small gene pool found only in the DNA of the explorers who opened up this great land; those who looked for adventure and excitement by travelling unknown pathways.  Well, unknown to them.

I’m not talking here about the holiday RVer who travels to the same caravan park every year for periods of between three weeks to three months, but instead the RVer who sits at their desk or kitchen table for weeks or months planning trips to a mysterious destination. 

During early 2019, I started my planning process (e.g. talking to travelled friends, internet searches, checking on possible stopovers listed in Camp 10 and Caravan Parks Australia Wide) and to hold my data I started an Excel spreadsheet, covering:

  • Stopovers sites 
  •  Length of stays
  •  Distances travelled per day
  • Travel/drive times
  • GPS coordinates and phone numbers
  • Expected fuel price, usage and total cost
  • Points of interest, and
  • Camping costs.

I know some will say: “What kind of anal-retentive are you?”  

But fortunately I’m a retiree with time and a management background. I should also explain my planning is restricted due to my vehicle (a Toyota Landcruiser 200 series and I tow a self-contained 19 foot 6 inch off-road van) and my available time.  I only have windows of approximately two weeks between doctors’ appointments, so trips are limited to that period.  

For this trip, I started planning with the aim of travelling from my home in Brisbane to Innamincka in South Australia and specifically, a stop at the Burke and Wills Dig Tree (Camps 10, site 987).  

With a strategy of driving no more than 500 kilometers per day, I plotted my western road trip with possible stops such as: St. George, Yowah, Noccundra then to my target; Innamincka.  

My return trip was less scripted as I always assume I’ll find interesting places going out that are worth a stopover on the return travel.  

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