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Dec 23: In 10 days from Dubbo tot Shellharbour (AUS)? Where to stop and hike?

Dec 23: In 10 days from Dubbo tot Shellharbour (AUS)? Where to stop and hike?

Old Oct 1st, 2023, 06:02 AM
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Dec 23: In 10 days from Dubbo tot Shellharbour (AUS)? Where to stop and hike?

Hello,

I am Dutch and new to this forum.
My partner and I will be in Australia- Dubbo region from the end of November up to 18 December 2023. This is not a holiday nor will we have a lot of opportunity to explore the area locally there.
However, we have been able to postpone our return trip slightly and thus have some free time. We have to be in Shellharbour on 27 December. So we have 9 days to get from Dubbo to Shellharbour. (spending a couple of days afterwards in Sydney)
We have a (4x4) car at our disposal and can borrow some camping equipment through acquaintances in Australia and will bring some of our own hiking gear (incl a garmin inreach mini for safety). We love tent camping and outdoors (nature, hiking). We are experienced campers and hikers (Canada, New Zealand, Southern Africa and most of Europe including the Alps). And so while this will not be a dream 6-weeks Australia holiday, we do want to spend as much time as possible outdoors and as little as possible in the car. For hiking, we are comfortable with treks between 3 and 6 hours a day (expending with breaks). Evt interspersed with exploring surroundings, small villages, view points. Also depending on the weather. We do love mountains, forests, wide views. A coastal hike is fine, but we´re not beach or water loving people.

I have, of course, already looked around a bit, and will do a lot more research. But due to the short time remaining, I would love to have some help / suggestions of the forum. My list now obviously includes the Blue Mountains, but that´s also big, so where to go and what could be additional stops towards Shellharbour? e.g. I did see kangaroo valley mentioned? What would be a good distribution of our time along the route?

- And what would be good starting points (camping places) and should they be booked in advance (small tent), due to december as a popular month?
- How about Christmas, we don´t mind spending it outdoor, but are there things to consider?
- And what would be nice circular hikes you recommend?

Thanks in advance to everyone who will suggest something!
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Old Oct 1st, 2023, 09:53 PM
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Plenty of people have Christmas Day outdoors, at the beach, picnics, etc. Usually it's good weather. Just about everything will be shut on Christmas Day so make sure you have petrol, food etc. In small towns, everything might also be closed on Boxing Day. Most shops, supermarkets etc will close earlier than normal on Christmas Eve. We do suffer from flies, mosquitoes etc in the beautiful outdoors so buy some decent bug spray. Flies are just a nuisance but mosquitoes can carry harmful diseases. Another thing to be aware of is bushfires, ask locals if anything to be aware of, and check the news.

If you are camping and don't need electricity then you should be able to get an unpowered site at most places but the coast could be an issue. Australians tend to flock to the coast at Christmas. I guess you know that's the main school break for the year (6 weeks). If you can book ahead a little, as you travel, that would help. I don't think you'd need to book your whole trip now, if you prefer to wing it. As an example, we camped one year at Pambula Beach and the week up to Christmas Day was fairly quiet, just us and the kangaroos. On Boxing Day we left and the caravan park was expecting 2000 people that day, most would stay for weeks. That was right on the beach, so very popular.

Have a look at Kosciuszko National Park, also Wollemi National Park. We've found Google Maps is very optimistic about travel times. It doesn't take into account roadworks, stopping for food and toilets, getting stuck behind someone slow etc. This might be useful - https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/visit-a-park

If you have time in Sydney and want a great walk, check https://www.sydneycoastwalks.com.au/
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Old Oct 5th, 2023, 12:20 PM
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Hi thanks for the practical tips. They´re helpful. I was indeed wondering if I needed to book ahead. But we´re travelling mostly unpowered. I totally agree on the travel times. That´s why I mentioned that we want to sit as less in the car as possible. So we want to travel only from Dubbo to Shellharbour, no big detours and spending lot´s of time outdoor. 10 days so maybe 2 stops along the route.But it would be nice to see some change of landscape / wildlife. so that´s why we´re looking for something next to the blue mountains.
We´re also looking for a good base camp to explore the blue mountains. Any suggestions / recommendations where to pitch a tent for a couple of days? It should not be totally remote or self sufficient (although we´re used to that from Africa), but we´re not travelling with our own gear, and I´m not sure what we´re exactly getting.

And thanks for the Sydney / coastal tip. We do have indeed some extra days in Sydney after Shellharbour and submitting the car. Will check on on a nice coastal walk to add. (but it´s hard to beat NZ Abel Tasman on that ).
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