The Great Budget 4wd Trip Around Australia – Week 18

Sunset Karratha


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So this week was full of excitement … not!

Distance Travelled:

Spot of the Week:
Best Western Karratha Central Apartments, WA

Camp of the Week:
Barradale Free Camp, WA

Tip of the Week:
Expect the unexpected!

Life is full of mystery and being on the road is certainly no exception. You can never be sure what you are in for and we certainly did not expect to have to pay another $1600 for a flywheel on top of the new clutch we’d already bought, but what can you do?!

We had a spare clutch kit, as we knew the old one was slowly on the way out, but after seeking advice from several sources we decided that to have a spare flywheel would be overkill. Turns out, we were wrong!

Disaster of the Week:
Finding out a clutch part, which very rarely needs replacing on any vehicle, was the only piece of a spare clutch that we didn’t have. Murphy’s Law hey!

The Budget ($ AUD):
Fuel – $0.00 (because we didn’t have a car for a week!)
Accommodation – $122.10 (the difference between our bill and what was covered by RACQ)
Groceries – $147.85
Camping Fees – $83.00
Coffee – $55.00 (not bad considering we sat around for 6 days!)
Total – $407.95


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Day 1 – Karratha, WA


After dropping the car into the mechanic at 7am, we then spent all day waiting at the shopping centre and a café!

We didn’t hear from the mechanic until 3pm and when we did finally get the phone call, it was to say the car needed another part.

The flywheel in the clutch was pretty buggered.

After some lengthy discussions, we made the decision to put our old fly wheel back in and hope to get to Perth, otherwise we’d have to wait 2 weeks in Karratha for a new one.

Even, just putting the flywheel back in meant staying the night in Karratha.

Luckily RACQ came to the rescue, again! In these situations, you spend a lot of time on the phone with RACQ trying to organise accommodation, but it is well worth it.

Having their Ultimate Road Side Assistance Package saved our butts again! It seriously is an absolute necessity when you are on an Australian road trip.

BTW, if you are ever in Karratha we recommend the Soul Café, good food, good coffee, free wifi and super friendly staff.


Day 2 – Karratha, WA


We thought we were going to be on the road this morning, however we got an early phone call to say a flywheel had been found in Perth!

They promised it could be in Karratha by Tuesday, so we decided to bite the bullet, buy it, ship it and wait around in Karratha until the clutch was fixed.

Luckily for us, the Best Western Karratha Central Apartments had a unit available for the next few days so we booked in for 4 more nights and enjoyed having a full kitchen with no bugs or flies, a whole lot of air con and some great free wifi!

In a way, it was just what we needed, as there was lots of work to do on the blog.


Day 3, 4 and 5 – Karratha, WA


We pretty much hung out in the unit working on the blog all week.

However, we did manage to fit in a walk every day to check out the sites of Karratha! Up behind the town, there’s an awesome natural area that gives great views and this where we spent a lot of time!

Late on day 5, the boy got a phone call from the mechanic saying no one knew where the flywheel was and we thought, “here we go again!!”

There is never a dull moment on the road!

So, it looked like we’d be waiting around some more.  Very apt when we found out from a local that WA also stands for Wait Awhile as well as Western Australia!


Day 6 – Karratha, WA


By this time, we were nearly best mates with the mechanic and enjoying multiple daily calls!

This morning he rang and advised us that the flywheel had been found in Karratha and he should have it around midday – hoorah!

The car would be ready the next morning.

Woo hoo, finally some progress!


Day 7 – Karratha to Barradale Free Camp, WA


Finally, after a week or so in Karratha, we picked up Landy and were back on the road!

Although it was nice spending time in a luxury unit at the Best Western Karratha Central Apartments, we love being in the car, so it was a great feeling to be cruising again and we thoroughly enjoyed our roadside free camp that night, flies and all!


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