Driving around Australia

Submitted: Sunday, Jun 30, 2013 at 15:24
ThreadID: 103023 Views:3056 Replies:11 FollowUps:6
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A friend of mine has decided to drive around Australia via Coastal Highways. He wishes to travel from Perth to Darwin via Port Hedland, Broome etc.. What are the roads like in this part of W.A. My concern is that he is driving a Falcon sedan. Will he have a car still in one piece when he returns to Melbourne? He is departing this coming week. Any information would be greatly appreciated as I hope it will not be a foolhardy venture for him. Also to put my mind at rest.
Thanks to all
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Reply By: baz&pud (tassie) - Sunday, Jun 30, 2013 at 15:50

Sunday, Jun 30, 2013 at 15:50
Stanley D
Unless your friend intends to drive the Gibb River Road, you will find he has no worries at all, roads are sealed all the way, except for any road works that he may come across.
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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Sunday, Jun 30, 2013 at 15:52

Sunday, Jun 30, 2013 at 15:52
Hi Stanley,

Hi Stanley,

If he follows the main highway its all sealed road and plenty of traffic, both tourists and from mining. But that highway is at times well away from the coast, especially from Broome heading east to Cairns. If he does want to drive right around Oz staying close to the coast he will need a more robust vehicle as the more coastal roads are often gravel and sometimes can get pretty rough and corrugated - but they do go through more interesting country.

Get hold of a map of Australia and check it out.

How long does your friend expect to take for his trip?

Cheers,

Val
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Reply By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Sunday, Jun 30, 2013 at 16:10

Sunday, Jun 30, 2013 at 16:10
If he isn't a fool and has some nouse about him the old Falcon would be fine. I had a 1968 Kingswood and if I still had it I would not hesitate to do that drive. BUT the first dirt drive I did was back in the 60's so I have teeny weeny bit of experience.

Now you need to see if his experience means that he hires a sherman tank or a 4WD or a VW. We cannot answer correctly wothout knowing his real skills and knowledge. Does he know which end of a hammer to hold. Is he mechanically minded. I rebuilt the whole engine, gearbox and drive train and knew my car from every angle. Does he.

I am not making little of the drive just showing the two extremes with Val on one end and me on the other. She may win though.

It is hard to answer honestly.

Phil
AnswerID: 514033

Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Sunday, Jun 30, 2013 at 22:18

Sunday, Jun 30, 2013 at 22:18
Phil, long gone are the days where most men knew so mechanical knowledge. Vehicles have become more reliable so the bonnet stays down. There are plenty of drivers who hav never opened their bonnet and have their vehicle serviced and simply call the NRMA now if it stops. Michael.
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Reply By: steved58 - Sunday, Jun 30, 2013 at 19:08

Sunday, Jun 30, 2013 at 19:08
I presume around oz on highway 1 all sealed its a sunday drive thousands do it every day as long as the vehicle is well maintained and the right time of year no problems now is the dry season in the north so relax the car will be in one piece on return with a very relaxed occupant onboard
all the best steve
AnswerID: 514042

Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Monday, Jul 01, 2013 at 11:37

Monday, Jul 01, 2013 at 11:37
That's a common mistake, Highway ! is not totally sealed around Oz. There is a long section between Borrroloola and Normanton that is mostly just gravel road and a lot of it is not well maintained.

The sealed route that the vast majority of travellers take consists of the Stuart Hwy 87, Barkly Hwy 66, A2 and the Burke Development Road 83.
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Reply By: DiscoTourer - Sunday, Jun 30, 2013 at 23:06

Sunday, Jun 30, 2013 at 23:06
I thinks it's quite funny that people from the east (i am originally from the east) think we are still many years behind the rest of Australia....we have sealed roads over here now.
Roads are fine...just big distances, so best to fill up when he can, and not drive at night.
He might just enjoy the world over here and stay a bit longer in a town that he may fall in love with.
Brett...
AnswerID: 514057

Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Monday, Jul 01, 2013 at 08:27

Monday, Jul 01, 2013 at 08:27
I am chuclking along with you on this one Brett

Kind of thought the same myself. It was amusing how many from the "east" said that we were mad for crossing the Simpson on our own. New to modern 4wd but not new to dirt. Ah well. Luckily we don't live in a city hey!!!!

Catchya

Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - Stanley D - Thursday, Jul 04, 2013 at 00:19

Thursday, Jul 04, 2013 at 00:19
Dear DiscoTourer,
Well, I am really surprised at the responses to my question. Yes, I realise that WA is now the modern world, but I never doubted it for one minute!! Thank you all for your replies. As my friend is from Europe, I was just a little concerned, but now I am less so! He will be gone for two months on this journey and I would have liked to do it as well. Alas the salt mine, that I have sold my soul to, would not permit it.
I myself will over in WA this coming September and I am looking forward to the drive- in a Prado, with appropriate gear- and touring around the southern areas, as that will be all my one month will allow. Again, thank you all for the replies and wish you all happy adventures.
Regards.
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Reply By: Gone Bush (WA) - Sunday, Jun 30, 2013 at 23:20

Sunday, Jun 30, 2013 at 23:20
We've had bitumen on our roads in WA for some time now.

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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Monday, Jul 01, 2013 at 11:13

Monday, Jul 01, 2013 at 11:13
That goes for all states. If you get yourself the latest Hema road atlas you will have a reliable guide for all of Oz. The solid red lines show roads that are sealed, al be it some will only have one lane of bitumen. These are suitable for towing caravans along. The thicker red lines are all sealed and at least have one lane each direction. However you will find thick red lines that are dashed, these are gravel but usually well maintained.
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Reply By: landseka - Monday, Jul 01, 2013 at 10:39

Monday, Jul 01, 2013 at 10:39
I would suggest the worst highways he will find are in Qld & Nsw, Bruce High(low)way comes to mind.

Cheers Neil
AnswerID: 514069

Reply By: Member - Wozikev - Monday, Jul 01, 2013 at 11:53

Monday, Jul 01, 2013 at 11:53
Not only are the roads sealed, they're arguably the best in Australia.

Cheers ........................... Kev.
AnswerID: 514078

Reply By: Road Warrior - Monday, Jul 01, 2013 at 12:12

Monday, Jul 01, 2013 at 12:12
I can't see any reason the Falcon wouldn't do it unless it is an unmaintained, poorly looked after basket case, it used to be called the 'great Australian road car' for a reason, my BA sedan and I have gone to hell and back over the past 7 years and 100,000klm and it still has plenty left to give. Endless hundreds of kilometers of corrugated unsealed roads may pose a problem but if he sticks to the blacktop...
AnswerID: 514081

Reply By: Member - John and Val - Monday, Jul 01, 2013 at 22:41

Monday, Jul 01, 2013 at 22:41
Hi Stanley,

Have we put your mind at rest?

Cheers,

Val.
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AnswerID: 514111

Follow Up By: Member - Stanley D - Thursday, Jul 04, 2013 at 00:18

Thursday, Jul 04, 2013 at 00:18
Dear Val,
Well, I am really surprised at the responses to my question. Yes, I realise that WA is now the modern world, but I never doubted it for one minute!! Thank you all for your replies. As my friend is from Europe, I was just a little concerned, but now I am less so! He will be gone for two months on this journey and I would have liked to do it as well. Alas the salt mine, that I have sold my soul to, would not permit it.
I myself will over in WA this coming September and I am looking forward to the drive- in a Prado, with appropriate gear- and touring around the southern areas, as that will be all my one month will allow. Again, thank you all for the replies and wish you all happy adventures.
Regards.
0
FollowupID: 793160

Reply By: Member - Stanley D - Thursday, Jul 04, 2013 at 00:11

Thursday, Jul 04, 2013 at 00:11
Well, I am really surprised at the responses to my question. Yes, I realise that WA is now the modern world, but I never doubted it for one minute!! Thank you all for your replies. As my friend is from Europe, I was just a little concerned, but now I am less so! He will be gone for two months on this journey and I would have liked to do it as well. Alas the salt mine, that I have sold my soul to, would not permit it.
I myself will over in WA this coming September and I am looking forward to the drive- in a Prado, with appropriate gear- and touring around the southern areas, as that will be all my one month will allow. Again, thank you all for the replies and wish you all happy adventures.
Regards.
AnswerID: 514244

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