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Thread: Road Trip Advise

  1. #1
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    Default Road Trip Advise

    I'm planning for a Photography + Family road trip between Jul to Aug... Have a few place in mind but really in a lost how to choose...

    Any Bro and Sis can advise advise??

    Options are : Australia, UK, Western US and New Zealand.

    No. of Days: from 10 - 14 days

    Prefer scenic places.. As this is the 1st road trip that why need advise on all aspect..

  2. #2

    Default Re: Road Trip Advise

    I have been only to Western Australia and both north & south NZ.

    personally i like NZ for the views and the overall feel of the country. I like the drive from town to town. The small towns have a rustic and layback feel that I like.. like old western movies

    but my visit to NZ was 10years ago, don't know how things have changed.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Road Trip Advise

    Just make sure no one drinks too much water in the car. Toilets can sometimes be far and between.

    For the US, I heard a road trip in the Nevada desert near Las Vegas, into the Rockies, and maybe down to the Grand Canyon is pretty scenic.

    There's also the option of going to Yosemite National Park near San Francisco.

    Quite a lot of national parks in the US. So it's a question of time really. A road trip from coast to coast of the US can last for over a week depending on how fast you want to go.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Road Trip Advise

    Do you have young children like in Pri to Sec ? If yes, US western is a good 1st choice.

    Start in LA & it is Summer time, in 3-4 days, visit all the theme parks available like Disneyland, Universal, etc.
    Do spend a day in Seaworld at San Diego, the kids will love it.

    Nx drive to LV and spend at least 3 days there. Surrounding LV is Hoover Dam, Route 66, Grand Canyon, etc where you can get tons of scenic shoots. In LV you can do some Factory outlet shopping and at Barstow, etc.

    From LV drive up north to Yosemite Nat Pk and spend 2-3 days. On-route you can drop by the 'Aeroplane graveyard' where they dump all the retired planes. You may even drive pass 'Top Gun' training area. Do visit the Giant Sequoia trees like those you see in the 'Return of the Jedi', Yosemite Peak, Valley, where lot's & lot's of photo ops.

    Nx drive west another 3 hrs twd San Frisco and spent 3-4 days at least here at Pier 39, Alcatraz, Golden Gate bridge, Chinatown, Bruce Lee memorial, Sausolito, Twin Peaks, etc, etc.

    All in all that should cover your 10-14 days & both photos & family funs + shopping for that missus.

    One thing to note, always make a point to top up your car at every opportunity cos the nx kiosk may be 1000km away

    2nd best choice is Australia. But it's Wintertime.

    Start in Brisbane where Southbank is a photo friendly spot & Gold coast and spend 6-7 days visit all the theme parks like, Movieworld, Seaworld, Dreamworld, White water or Wet & wild (may be too cold), Paradise country, Australia Outback Spectacular, Surfers Paradise, etc.

    Once done, either drive down to Sydney or fly to Melbourne.

    If Sydney, There are again tons of photo ops at Harbour area, Blue Mountains, winery, Hot air balloons, etc.

    If in Melbourne you need to spend at least 8 days. 3 days covering Melb city, QVM, Yarra, Crown, Southbank, Dockland, Botanical Garden & areas, etc, etc. 1-2 days North-East you've got Snow fields like Mt Buller, etc, Dandenong regions including Puffing Billy, Tulip gardens, 2 days South-Eastern Drive including Mornington Peninsula, the winery, Philip Island, Arthur's Seat, 2 days Western drive including the Great Ocean Road, Grampians, Sovereign Hill, etc, etc.
    3rd choice will be NZ.

    Start from Auckland, spend 1-2 days visiting the yatch berth, Auckland tower & casino. Nx drive up north of North Island 2 days to visit the tip of the island at 90 miles beach near Cape Reinga, Bays of island to see the Hole in the Rock, etc.

    Spend 2 days to drive to Lake Taupo & Rotorua area the most colourful thermal pool you will ever witness. You can also visit the glow-worm cave. From here drive all the way south to Wellington & you can spend a day or two here.

    In South island, the land of Middle earth, you will need at least 7 days there is always Mount Cook, Christchurch, & the best is Queenstown during winter time where from there you can go to Mildford Sound. Another heaven on earth. Phew!

    In NZ, always drive slowly esp at the edge it is a 1000ft drop into the sea or rocks!!

    All the best in your trip.
    Last edited by DrSpock; 23rd January 2010 at 04:11 PM.
    Photography? It's all in your mind...

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Road Trip Advise

    Quote Originally Posted by photoart View Post
    I have been only to Western Australia and both north & south NZ.

    personally i like NZ for the views and the overall feel of the country. I like the drive from town to town. The small towns have a rustic and layback feel that I like.. like old western movies

    but my visit to NZ was 10years ago, don't know how things have changed.
    Thanks.. Personally i also like the layback feel... sounds wonderful..

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Road Trip Advise

    Quote Originally Posted by NazgulKing View Post
    Just make sure no one drinks too much water in the car. Toilets can sometimes be far and between.

    For the US, I heard a road trip in the Nevada desert near Las Vegas, into the Rockies, and maybe down to the Grand Canyon is pretty scenic.

    There's also the option of going to Yosemite National Park near San Francisco.

    Quite a lot of national parks in the US. So it's a question of time really. A road trip from coast to coast of the US can last for over a week depending on how fast you want to go.
    Thanks Thanks.... Thats a good piece of advise... personally i really like to drink loads of water.. sounds like i gotta replace it with other munchies...

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Road Trip Advise

    Quote Originally Posted by DrSpock View Post
    Do you have young children like in Pri to Sec ? If yes, US western is a good 1st choice.

    Start in LA & it is Summer time, in 3-4 days, visit all the theme parks available like Disneyland, Universal, etc.
    Do spend a day in Seaworld at San Diego, the kids will love it.

    Nx drive to LV and spend at least 3 days there. Surrounding LV is Hoover Dam, Route 66, Grand Canyon, etc where you can get tons of scenic shoots. In LV you can do some Factory outlet shopping and at Barstow, etc.

    From LV drive up north to Yosemite Nat Pk and spend 2-3 days. On-route you can drop by the 'Aeroplane graveyard' where they dump all the retired planes. You may even drive pass 'Top Gun' training area. Do visit the Giant Sequoia trees like those you see in the 'Return of the Jedi', Yosemite Peak, Valley, where lot's & lot's of photo ops.

    Nx drive west another 3 hrs twd San Frisco and spent 3-4 days at least here at Pier 39, Alcatraz, Golden Gate bridge, Chinatown, Bruce Lee memorial, Sausolito, Twin Peaks, etc, etc.

    All in all that should cover your 10-14 days & both photos & family funs + shopping for that missus.

    One thing to note, always make a point to top up your car at every opportunity cos the nx kiosk may be 1000km away

    2nd best choice is Australia. But it's Wintertime.

    Start in Brisbane where Southbank is a photo friendly spot & Gold coast and spend 6-7 days visit all the theme parks like, Movieworld, Seaworld, Dreamworld, White water or Wet & wild (may be too cold), Paradise country, Australia Outback Spectacular, Surfers Paradise, etc.

    Once done, either drive down to Sydney or fly to Melbourne.

    If Sydney, There are again tons of photo ops at Harbour area, Blue Mountains, winery, Hot air balloons, etc.

    If in Melbourne you need to spend at least 8 days. 3 days covering Melb city, QVM, Yarra, Crown, Southbank, Dockland, Botanical Garden & areas, etc, etc. 1-2 days North-East you've got Snow fields like Mt Buller, etc, Dandenong regions including Puffing Billy, Tulip gardens, 2 days South-Eastern Drive including Mornington Peninsula, the winery, Philip Island, Arthur's Seat, 2 days Western drive including the Great Ocean Road, Grampians, Sovereign Hill, etc, etc.
    3rd choice will be NZ.

    Start from Auckland, spend 1-2 days visiting the yatch berth, Auckland tower & casino. Nx drive up north of North Island 2 days to visit the tip of the island at 90 miles beach near Cape Reinga, Bays of island to see the Hole in the Rock, etc.

    Spend 2 days to drive to Lake Taupo & Rotorua area the most colourful thermal pool you will ever witness. You can also visit the glow-worm cave. From here drive all the way south to Wellington & you can spend a day or two here.

    In South island, the land of Middle earth, you will need at least 7 days there is always Mount Cook, Christchurch, & the best is Queenstown during winter time where from there you can go to Mildford Sound. Another heaven on earth. Phew!

    In NZ, always drive slowly esp at the edge it is a 1000ft drop into the sea or rocks!!

    All the best in your trip.
    Woah.... U makes all the trips sound so interesting!!! If i have the $$$ and time i would like to do all at a shot after reading what u have juz describe.!!

    Thanks dude.. u make my planning so much easier..

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Road Trip Advise

    Quote Originally Posted by kleon View Post
    Woah.... U makes all the trips sound so interesting!!! If i have the $$$ and time i would like to do all at a shot after reading what u have juz describe.!!

    Thanks dude.. u make my planning so much easier..
    My pleasure bro, but I'd not recommend you to do it all at once cos I did them in 3 trips over 3 yrs and after every trip I'd needed to starve for half yr eating bread so I can save enough for the nx trip. But it was all worthwhile when I view thru all my 1-2k photos Do keep us updated on your decision & post the photos for us to see, OK
    Photography? It's all in your mind...

  9. #9

    Default Re: Road Trip Advise

    My recommendation based on my personal experience and preference.

    Aust: Gold Coast to Sydney is a good scenic drive. At Gold Coast, your family can have fun at the theme park and great seafood. From Gold Coast to Newcastle, you can stop at a few places to visit dolphin and other marine sanctuaries (can't remember names). I would recommend a visit to Byron Bay lighthouse; the eastern most part of mainland Aust. It offers a great ocean view. Sydney is a beautiful city; good food, entertainment and shopping. And fantastic weather. However, I would not recommend driving in Sydney; in fact a no no for visitor as the road network is a mystery.

    South-Western Aust from Perth to Albany is another recommend route. Perth is a beautiful city. From Perth, head north to The Pinnacle where you can find earth formation from the ground just beside the ocean. It's marvelous. Heading south of Perth, do stop at Freemantle which is another nice city. Further south, Margaret River is good place to enjoy the wine and caves. Albany is the place for whale watching (check the seaon).

    If you are more adventurous, I would recommend NT to experience the desert. Uluru (Ayer Rock) is a great experience. King Canyon is another recommendation. Katherine and Kakadu national parks are also "must visit". You will need at least 2 days in Kakadu if you want to soak in the place.

    For South Island NZ, Mt Cook is a recommended stop for a day or two. Do a trek around the base to appreciate the majestic mountain. Fox Glacier is another must visit to experience walking on ice and the gigantic ice formation and glacier. June is good time being winter. From Christchurch to the southern most tip, it offers great scenic drive.

    Western USA will be a great stop for your family in LA for the numeous theme parks. The drive from LA to San Jose is a great oceanic scenic drive. Spend a day in San Jose Ocean Park. If you are into nature, I would recommend heading eastward to The Grand Canyon. The drive from LA offers great desert view; very much like backdrop as my kids have expressed. Do try to take Route 66 to experience Elvis Presley town and other nostalgia.

    I hope this helps. Enjoy.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Road Trip Advise

    Bro
    I will be doing a road trip in S Islands come Feb.
    I have been there in winter, and its alright, if you have the right clothes and travel safe.

    With 10 days, you can do the same trip with more time and also quality time for family and more pit stops, which is crucial for a trip with kids.

    Just look out for the trip later on, and you can get maps etc from me. See my posts in the adjacent thread.

    Cheers.
    Nikon D750; FM2; FG; 55mm Micro Nikkor; 28-300 VR; 70-200 VR; Nikon V1 + 10-30mm

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Road Trip Advise

    Thanks for all the advise Bro... I'm looking forward to my trip.... So excited...

  12. #12

    Default Re: Road Trip Advise

    Alternate Western US Route:

    Start in Los Angeles as suggested, do the theme parks. Head east on I-15, passing through Las Vegas (stay a night). Head east some more into Utah, visit all five majestic National Parks, make a big loop and head back towards Nevada and California. If have time, visit Antelope Canyon and even Grand Canyon, both in Arizona.

    Tip: Consider getting an annual pass allowing you unlimited entries into all the National Parks. Do your calculation to see if the price is worth it. Also, you'll be driving on the right side of the road in a left hand drive car - take extra caution. Always remember the driver should always be nearer to the centre of the road. Accelerator and brake pedals are in the same position, but the turn signal and wiper controls are reversed.
    Last edited by neech7; 27th January 2010 at 11:24 PM.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Road Trip Advise

    Been on driving holidays to Australia, USA and UK. Share with you some lessons learnt:

    1. Have a general route plan before commencement of journey for quick reference and brief your navigator.
    2. The important person is not the driver; it's the person sitting to him/her. He/she serves to navigate, help you on lookout for hazards and turnoffs and most important, on long drives, engage the driver to make sure he/she is alert and not dozing off.
    3. You may not be aware but that has happened and documented around the world with disastrous outcome. Many of the massive highway accidents reported by the media were the result of the drivers dozing off.
    4. And most important of all take regular breaks en route. He...You're on holiday....
    5. If you're doing driving in the cold months have a blanket and hot water flask with you. When your vehicle breakdown, you'll appreciate these simple "luxuries" Can never forget my experience.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Road Trip Advise

    My first road trip was along the west coast of USA in July 2008:

    Flew in to San Fran, explored that place for 3 days using public transport. Good time to get used to seeing cars driving on the "opposite" side!
    Rented a car and drove to the following places:
    SF -> Gilroy -> Monterey -> Carmel-by-the-Sea -> Santa Barbara -> Las Vegas -> Hoover Dam -> Grand Canyon -> Los Angeles
    And take a flight from LA back to Singapore. (Get an open-jaw ticket - driving back to SF consumes time and gas!)

    Tips:
    1. Driving southwards is preferred (and safer) on Highway 1. You can stop the car regularly to enjoy the scenery and take pictures.
    2. Plot out your route on Google Maps to find out the estimated travelling time from one point to another. I usually factor in meal/toilet breaks every 1.5 hrs.
    3. If you have a smartphone, install GPS navigation software, download the maps and pre-set your locations. Very happy with Garmin MobileXT on my HTC Diamond, I was never lost although it was my first time in the States.
    4. Be prepared to queue at the car rental shop. I spent 2 hours there, they didn't have the "mid-sized car" I reserved, so I got a free upgrade to a Convertible/SUV.

    Enjoy ur road trip!
    Canon EOS 500D | Tamron 18-270 | EF-S 18-55mm IS | EF 50mm F1.8 II

  15. #15

    Default Re: Road Trip Advise

    Quote Originally Posted by JustOne View Post
    4. Be prepared to queue at the car rental shop. I spent 2 hours there, they didn't have the "mid-sized car" I reserved, so I got a free upgrade to a Convertible/SUV.

    Enjoy ur road trip!
    Same thing happened to me once. Reserved a mid-size, which are very popular. They were out and I waited for a long time and the lady probably felt bad and offered me a Cadillac luxury sedan with less than 20km on it!

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