|Subject: Re: car rental Australia|
Being a Melbournian I thought it my duty to reply.
You say you've only got three weeks and yet this is a big country, just under the USA in the list of big countries. I mention this just to check whether you want to drive everywhere.
You can drive from Melbourne to Adelaide in a day and then get to Alice Springs will take another two days (not overtaxing yourself).
There are all the usual car hire firms, Avis, Hertz, Budget and another mob called Thrifty. They'll all have their own deals and can probably be checked on through the Internet or your local office once you know your itinerary.
Guidebooks. I must plug Lonely Planet. Not only is it a guidebook of their own country (so it should be extra specially good) but also that I had a hand in writing the next edition which will be published in April.
Have you booked your flights to Australia yet? This is a very popular place in December as it's our summertime.
Victoria, South Australia and The Northern Territory have excellent tourist organisations and a lot of useful pamphlets. You could pick these up when you are here or email them.
The Barossa Valley, north of Adelaide, is a major Australian wine growing region.
If I'm in Melbourne next December then we could meet.