New Oz nomads need advice

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New Oz nomads need advice

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Old 09-20-2009, 02:14 AM
Join Date: Sep 2009
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New Oz nomads need advice

We have sold up everything and intend to travel around our great land. We have purchased a 24ft. van and are in the process of getting a Navara or Patrol to tow it.

Advice please on the best internet options out there - also mobile phone best buys/plans. We have a fairly new lap top - can web cam work well out there?

We would also like advice on insurance for vehicle/van/contents - anyone know of any co. that offers good deals on package lot?

New to this site and new to travelling in OZ. Have done stints of 6 and 4 months travelling throughout U.K. and Europe in a motor home so any one wanting advice for that area - only too glad to be of help.

Look forward to chatting with other nomads.

Lois Forsyth

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Old 09-20-2009, 12:04 PM
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Welcome to the forum Lois and half yer luck, way to go, head north in winter and steer clear of there in summer months and look for high ground when there's storms about and it'll be hard to go wrong.

I'm no guru re the communications, but I'm not too sure that you'll find any super cheap deals out there for best Australia wide internet and mobile phone coverage for it's Telstra that has the greatest coverage and depending on how much you believe the latest sales pitch [a recent phone call claiming 100%, probably because I keep checking on lamdline broadband instead of a satellite connection] it'll be about 97% - 99% , but when you look at the claims more closely it is "reaching that % of population" , the only problem being when you consider the outback, Cape York, Arhem Land etc., it is probably only 10% of the continent where that 99% of our population live.

But you'll be closer to civilisation I suspect towing the 24 footer.
[ Just digressing for a moment, seeing as your vehicle will be more a workhorse than anything, why not some saving in getting an older model Landcruiser - know of one that looks reasonably clean with Gas if you're interested].
Back to communication:
I saw a guy in our local beachside park who had one of the latest mini LTs with a doggle or whatever the word is for them sticking out of it and being a bit nosey I had to ask and he had what he called the latest Telstra offering [ he specifically said go to Telstra and claim it's for a business - you're a travel author or whatever! rather than Big Pond who though an arm of Telstra have never seemed to be all that reliable, not that Telstra are much better these days to some extent.]

Anyway, he referred to his system as Series 21 as against Series7 and it seems Big Pond and Telstra are offering with it.
Wireless Broadband - Plans and Offers - Telstra BigPond [and they have a listing under telstra business too]
Wireless Internet Pricing - Mobile Broadband Solutions from Telstra Business

So probably best to look at what suits you best and then compare it with Optus [nearly as good on coverage] and Vodafone [not quite as good].

When you consider that your standard mobile coverages will only be as good as mobile towers coverage [and next G is not as good as the old CDMA], getting 95% off VodaF or whatever off Optus probably will be nether here nor there in most places and to have at least phone coverage on the long trips through remoter areas you would need to go for a Satellite phone - getting expensive!, but then again how long will you be out in no mans land for?

Back to my new park knowledge, the parker claims to have just been on an around the planet trip in a matter of months and his Telstra 21 package served him pretty well he reckoned, especially when he had it coupled to Skype - Make free calls and great value calls on the internet

Not sure who runs this log and nearly has colouring for BP/Telstra but it does have other links to the like of DoDo who piggyback on VodaF and Virgin pbing on Optus - 21 USB Mobile Card - Telstra BigPond Broadband and may help you sort out a good package.

DoDo often have some sweet looking packages that you might see advertised on tele which often include a mobile and a cheap LT [maybe good for back-up] but their site has so many different options it is a bit mind blowing!

Just to blow it a bit more, in trying to sort out what you want, a few things you may have already considered:
. many libraries have free internet useage, Queensland, NSW and Vic. at least and not sure on NT, WA, SA or Tas., but be easy enough to find out and though it means you may have to book for just an hour at a time or whatever, it may lessen the need for the best of packages at highest cost.

. and then there'll be Free Wireless Internet and Broadband Wireless Internet Access for Laptops in developed areas.

If you can tailor your needs about what's in the developed areas, perhaps for safety communication you may want to look into CB/HF radio for when on the road.

And then if you want the cheapest of mobile phones for developed area use you'll find Revolution Telecom - Prepaid mobile phone sim cards, cheap calls, cheap sms so hard to beat but check it against a DoDo package I'd suggest.

Whirlpool revtel, anyone here us it - Industry - Telecomms is also a good site to read up on what peoples experiences are with forms covering a lot about communication .

Suppose it'll come down to how much you want to pay and whether it's to be top dollar for a great system which hopefully works well without leaving the van in the areas it will work or whether you want to skimp and patch a series of attitudes together.

I'll be interested after you do the comparisons to see what you do come up with and reporting on from your tripping about on how it works.

A good site for a lot of touring info will be [including quite a bit on different communication issues] and click on Places and then under the map click on 'camp free' and not only will you find heaps of reasonable overnighting free spots but you'll likely come across many other Nomads. Good discussion forums there too, a good site to sign up to.
And is another site that looks to have some good info - came across it while researching something else.

I was thinking to myself a bit while considering the travelling communication while you're going to be out there and I'd suspect there'll be a few places you'll not want to be taking the 24 footer, Savannah Trail and Gibb River Road being two that spring to mind and perhaps your plan will be to park up the van and head off with camping gear to some places, Lawn Hill National Park and Kingfisher Camp | Bowthorn Station on the Nicholson River North West Queensland from Camooweal, GRR/Mitchell Plateau from Kunnunurra or Broome [doing half from either end] and Cape York from Cairns, Mareeba or Cooktown spring to mind but have you also considered looking to a base of sort in a more general sense amd doing some Campervan relocations - Rental Relocations Australia New Zealand United States Canada - Hire Now at StandByCars

There are often 4WD Campers for relocating between Darwin and Cairns, Brisbane or Sydney and vice versa as well as to/from Alice Springs and a few ex Broome.
Though days allowed is based nominally on 500 km./day, if there are more days between earliest pick up and latest delivery dates, you can get a few days at extra at a discounted hire rate, used to be $50 and got raised to $75

So instead of say a trip of six days at $1 or $5/day you might decide on nine days at $230 - 250 and with time on your side to be choosy and get a fuel allowance, it could be something to look at as an alternative to the longer tow at times or getting to see some off the beaten track places using someone else's fuel/vehicle.

And if you're wondering how to get back to your van/base, you just have to get a relocation in opposite direction or you might do a big loop away from your base - in quicker time, a sort of recce you could say, that's if you do not mind clocking up a few miles behind the wheel.

And don't forget hotdockets - Vouchers, Coupons and Dockets from Shop a Docket for 241 deals.

Hope you have a great time.

Last edited by Wanderer; 09-20-2009 at 02:32 PM.

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