Sealed road route Sydney to Darwin

Submitted: Monday, Jan 27, 2014 at 14:55
ThreadID: 105973 Views:5088 Replies:6 FollowUps:22
This Thread has been Archived
My wife and I need to drive to Darwin later this month for work. We will be driving two vehicles a Toyota V8 petrol landcruiser and a Nissan petrol Xtrail. We need to be there quick smart and need to travel the shortest, direct route we can on sealed roads.

This is not a sight seeing trip, that will come later. We just need to be there as quickly and safely as possible but we need our cars up there. We will be camping on the way.

I have been searching all over the place and with the exception of the stuart highway route I can not ascertain a route through Queensland that is sealed all the way.
I hope that the experienced ones on this forum can point us in the right direction.
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Monday, Jan 27, 2014 at 15:12

Monday, Jan 27, 2014 at 15:12
Hi Dindy,

There is a fully sealed route through queensland to Darwin, but I'm not promoting it as the best or quickest route.

Sydney to Dubbo, Bourke, Charleville, Longreach, Mt Isa, Tennant Creek, Katherine and Darwin.

I have travelled all of that route and it's not too bad for either road condition or scenery.

Cheers
Allan

Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 525215

Follow Up By: The Bunyip - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 13:11

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 13:11
I suppose it depends if you want to stop & have a look around on the way, but if you're looking for the "quickest" way I reckon this is it.
0
FollowupID: 807158

Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 21:12

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 21:12
Dindy,

I've driven Allan's suggested route many times, and it'd have to get my vote too. Long stretches of open road, with little delay passing through many towns, as the shorter route has.

However, my concerns would be for your safety. Two people, in 2 cars driving for roughly 5,200 kms, will need a real commitment to your own safety. I feel you'd need a UHF in each vehicle, even hand helds, and your travelling days would be governed by the slower driver. If you both regularly do 800-1,000 kms driving days, then ignore my concerns.

Could you perhaps drive the Toyota up and put the Nissan on a car carrier(CEVA, PATRICK, ADELAIDE CAR EXPRESS OR MELCREST all travel to Darwin) and then you would have 2 drivers in one car, with regular breaks and driver changes. Also someone to talk too, as there's many "boring" sections, and iPod music often gets predictable. The fuel savings of one vehicle would help with the freight costs.

I do 2 trips/week, from Longreach to Barkly Homestead, and return, and often see the results of people who have obviously overextended their capabilities. Rollovers, and vehicles leaving the highway, on dead straight stretches, can't all be blowouts and animal strikes!!!
For instance, last night about 11pm and 40 kms from Longreach, I began to overtake a small black sedan. The roos were pretty bad, and this driver was continually braking to avoid them. As I was about to go past him, he braked again, and pulled out in front of me, to avoid a roo standing in the left lane. The stupidity of his action amazed me, he'd rather miss a 30 kg roo, but have a 90 tonne road train disappear up his exhaust pipe. And why didn't they get a motel room in Winton 2 hours earlier.......sorry, rant over.

Whatever you decide, hope you have a safe and enjoyable trip up to D'town. Might even see you on the road???

Bob.


Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 807207

Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 23:35

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 23:35
Perhaps I should make the point that my "route" was a generalisation to respond to the OP's query for a route "through Queensland, sealed all the way".
It was not a "turn-by-turn" instruction. I expected the OP to determine his own itinerary and check road conditions & weather. I did not expect to start a war on how to save a few minutes on a 5+ day journey. Whew!!
Thanks Bunyip and Bob.
Cheers
Allan

Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 807233

Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 23:56

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 23:56
"I do 2 trips/week, from Longreach to Barkly Homestead, and return, and often see the results of people who have obviously overextended their capabilities. Rollovers, and vehicles leaving the highway, on dead straight stretches, can't all be blowouts and animal strikes!!!"

Bob, funny that - I once asked the mechanic in Halls Creek why he had so many busted up Caravans in his lot. He looked at me sideways, and then said there was a funny pattern about them... he reckoned most of the accidents happened between 2-4 in the afternoon, on a dead straight piece of road, with no evidence of any animal strike, despite the (mostly wife) drivers claims they were avoiding some form of wildlife.

His theory was .... Bert & Doris would saddle up the Caravan in the morning and as was the fashion, Bob would take the 1st driving shift from Brekkie till morning tea and then till lunch. After a good lunch, Bert would get a bit tired and hand over the wheel to Doris, who also having had a big lunch and not used to driving would get half-way through the afternoon driving shift and then get the noddies ... next thing off the road and into the table drain - exit one Caravan.

Couldn't argue against him on this one....
0
FollowupID: 807235

Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 00:00

Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 00:00
read " Bert would take the 1st driving shift"
0
FollowupID: 807236

Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 08:42

Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 08:42
Ha ha, know what you mean, Scott.

Bit OT but can remember after lunch speakers at training days/meetings, who always seemed to have monotone voices, or boring subjects, There'd be heads nodding all round the room :-)

Bob

Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 807246

Reply By: Member - Burnt Damper - Monday, Jan 27, 2014 at 15:20

Monday, Jan 27, 2014 at 15:20
Dindy,
Unlike nearly the rest of Australia we have had quite a bit of rain up here in the last 2 weeks and with another monsoon trough due through this week I would allow a fair bit of time just in case the roads flood.
AnswerID: 525216

Reply By: Member Andys Adventures - Monday, Jan 27, 2014 at 15:48

Monday, Jan 27, 2014 at 15:48
Hi Dindy,
Leave Sydney early head to Newcastle then New England Hwy to Willow Tree turn off to Gunnedah, Narrabri, Moree. Then take the Canarvon Hwy to Mungindi crossing the boarder into QLD. Stop at Nindigully for the night( free camp and free hot showers) It's a little pub 40 km south of St George. In the morning head to St George then Roma( there is a shorter way to Mitchell but found going to Roma first is better. From Roma head west towards Mitchell then Morven. At Morven head towards Augathella, Tambo, Blackall and Barcaldine. At Barcaldine turn left heading west to Longreach. 4km past Longreach on the right just over the flood way is a free camp as you turn off Hwy go 500m turn left and another 400m. Toilets and tables nice flat camp area plenty of room. Next day from Longreach head to Winton, Cloncurry, Mount Isa, Camooweal. Camping at BP behind service station. Next morning make shore you have no fruit and veg as you will have to dump them before you cross the border into NT. From Camooweal to Barkly homestead then to Three ways road house on the Stuart Hwy turn right and stop at Hi way inn. from there its another days drive to Darwin.
Cheers Andy
AnswerID: 525220

Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Monday, Jan 27, 2014 at 16:32

Monday, Jan 27, 2014 at 16:32
Hi Andy ! You either keep a great trip diary or you have a very good memory! ;) Michael
Patrol 4.2TDi 2003

Retired 2016 and now Out and About!

There's time to rest when you're dead,
Get out and do something instead!

Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 807101

Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Monday, Jan 27, 2014 at 16:35

Monday, Jan 27, 2014 at 16:35
Yeah, but he could provide a little more detail! LOL
Cheers
Allan

Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 807103

Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Monday, Jan 27, 2014 at 16:37

Monday, Jan 27, 2014 at 16:37
Agree with Andy's route - come that way many a time from NT & Northern WA - shortest sealed route.

PS. Just watch the Road Kill north of Mitchell thru St George and to Blackhall - wouldn't do it at night ... PLENTY of Roos there...
0
FollowupID: 807104

Follow Up By: Member Andys Adventures - Monday, Jan 27, 2014 at 16:46

Monday, Jan 27, 2014 at 16:46
Just a quick summary I think if you give to much info you just confuse people. I do the trip every year when I head to Lorella Springs for the wet season. All the stops are doable only the first one from Sydney to Nindigully is a big one. But a nice place to camp along the river and have a cold beer for $3.50 I think this year. If they want I can give you places to have smoko and lunch but again it is up to you when you eat, rest, take a break and walk around the truck. This is all from memory, I don't like diary's as you can never find what you want when you want.
Cheers Andy
0
FollowupID: 807108

Follow Up By: Steve M1 (NSW) - Monday, Jan 27, 2014 at 16:56

Monday, Jan 27, 2014 at 16:56
Andy: why do you take the Roma road and not the one to the west and parallel to it that leads directly to Mitchell? Just curious because we always go that way and Roma is a bit of a long way around. I'm just wondering if it because of the amount of roadkill you get littering the other road/ As bad as I've seen anywhere.

I suppose it depends on the pace Dindy sets but we usually get a fair way past Nindigully coming from Sydney on the first day although it is a handy stop.

This is really the only route to Darwin. He could cut the corner off at Dunmarra and go through a good road, albeit dirt, through Top Springs to Timber Creek but it is (good) dirt. or, even turn right at Top Springs and go up the Buntine cutting a big corner (Katherine) off. A bit of very good dirt then sealed.
0
FollowupID: 807110

Follow Up By: Member Andys Adventures - Monday, Jan 27, 2014 at 17:48

Monday, Jan 27, 2014 at 17:48
Hi Steve,
The road west to Mitchell is not in a very good state and will take longer as you drop your speed. Agree it is shorter but not quicker. Road kill is every where in this area and would not like to drive past 4.00pm or very early in the morning. I find starting off on a easy first day as your not use to driving long distance and can knock you around a bit if you don't drive this sort of distance every day.
As for the short cut at Dunmarra to Top Springs why would you drive on a dirt road in the wet season to be bogged and have all sorts of problems. And it is 471km from Dunmarra to Katherine via Top springs compared to 309km on Hwy and its all sealed.
Cheers Andy
0
FollowupID: 807115

Follow Up By: Steve M1 (NSW) - Monday, Jan 27, 2014 at 18:01

Monday, Jan 27, 2014 at 18:01
I'll try via Roma next time. Last time I was on the other road it was in good nick but it was like a slalom weaving between all the carcasses.

We used to stop at Nindi but usually Surat or off the (aforementioned) road between St George/Mitchell. Nindi comes a bit too soon for us.

Forgot about the wet on the dirt.....duh. :)) We always go in the dry.
0
FollowupID: 807116

Follow Up By: Steve M1 (NSW) - Monday, Jan 27, 2014 at 18:11

Monday, Jan 27, 2014 at 18:11
..also, was thinking of Kunnunurra (re: cutting the cnr off) as we'll be off there later this year. Not doing very well here eh? Carry on - ignore my rambling. LOL.
0
FollowupID: 807119

Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Monday, Jan 27, 2014 at 22:31

Monday, Jan 27, 2014 at 22:31
That would be the route I would take. Here is a map of it. There is a variation, It shows a short cut through Cessnock.
PeterD
Retired radio and electronics technician

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

1
FollowupID: 807129

Follow Up By: Steve M1 (NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 08:11

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 08:11
Pity 10 days rain has put back the Hunter Expressway 2 months - he'd've saved 30 mins.
0
FollowupID: 807140

Follow Up By: Member - Ed C (QLD) - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 12:54

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 12:54
Well, if I wanted to get from St George to Mitchell, and time was of the essence, there's no way I'd be going via Roma...

There is nothing at all wrong with the St George - Mitchell road, I was on it just a few weeks ago.

It's a while since I've been on the St George - Surat - Roma road, but there's no way no how that anybody will convince me that it's quicker to get to Mitchell from St George via this route.. No way, no how......

:-)

Confucius say.....
"He who lie underneath automobile with tool in hand,
....Not necessarily mechanic!!"

Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 807157

Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 15:40

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 15:40
Ed, agree - apart from the road-kill - I've always used this route - can get narrow in parts, but fairly straight for the most of it.
0
FollowupID: 807171

Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 19:02

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 19:02
Yes, both Hoyks and my maps take you straight toMitchel. Umless you want to visit the Big Rig.
PeterD
Retired radio and electronics technician

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 807188

Follow Up By: Member Andys Adventures - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 19:58

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 19:58
There is another reason I said go to Roma is because if they stay at Nindigully it would be early in the morning when they are going to be on that road and given they have 2 cars that would not have bullbars and they did ask for a safe way as well. The road kill on that road is a bit more than you would like without a bulbar and hitting one would cause them to come to a complete stop for awhile. Where as the other way is longer it would be a safer way. as the road is wider and gives you more notice when a roo is about to come out and hit your car. going the most direct route sometime takes longer if you are slowing down all the time avoiding hitting a roo.
Now if they were traveling later in the day it might be an option but early in the morning is only asking for trouble.
Andy
0
FollowupID: 807199

Follow Up By: Steve M1 (NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 20:21

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 20:21
Last time we left nindi at about 7 am and hit a roo before we got to St George and that was with a newly acquired "shoo roo" which has since been binned. The direct road to Morven, I must say was as littered as any I've experienced with carcasses but strangely enough didn't see any/many live ones. Probably none left. Though the road itself was in decent enough condition, though and I've never seen it otherwise. Coming up for two years since last through there.
0
FollowupID: 807202

Reply By: Hoyks - Monday, Jan 27, 2014 at 22:27

Monday, Jan 27, 2014 at 22:27
And it will all depend how far inland this cyclone pushes the rain.

Shortest, all tar, can't go wrong. http://goo.gl/maps/w5m4G
AnswerID: 525237

Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 12:25

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 12:25
Ah, we posted together and produced the same map.

PeterD
Retired radio and electronics technician

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 807153

Reply By: Cameron R1 - Monday, Feb 24, 2014 at 15:51

Monday, Feb 24, 2014 at 15:51
Hey Dindy, I'd have to agree with Bob Y and trying to get the car into storage as well. Given the length of driving on the road, we'd want safety to be #1, and it always helps to have a second driver helping to just keep watch. Also it'd make for a trip that's a lot less boring for sure! You'd have someone to talk to and help to navigate especially if the cars don't have a sat nav system in place. More importantly there's a lot more fuel economy in taking one instead of 2. Any particular reason that both cars need to go up?
AnswerID: 527134

Reply By: Cecilyt - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 09:01

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 09:01
I am making the same road trip with my husband in early June towing a 14 ft van.

I am wondering now if you have any other advice. We were considering the Tamworth Roma St George route but a friend said that some of the roads are not good.

Now we are looking at the Dubbo Bourke Charleville route. My husband does have some health concerns and we will not be travelling more than 400 k per day.

Do you have any comments please about caravan parks if you stayed in any and road conditions.

We are not in a real hurry but want to be there in 7-10 days and will share some of the driving.

CHeers, Cecilyt
AnswerID: 528582

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (13)