vehicle and trip advise - north west qld

Submitted: Sunday, Mar 30, 2014 at 17:21
ThreadID: 106984 Views:1226 Replies:7 FollowUps:4
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Was looking for some trip advise. I have a pajero, travelling with two kids and pop top off road camper

1. Do we need snorkel?
2. Are AT or mud tyres required for any parts of this?
3. We have winch, exhaust jack.

Any better camp site suggestions?

The basic plan is

Thu 17 - Atherton to Richmond via Hueghden (staying at Caravan Park or free camping enroute) maybe Lakeview cp. Maybe 8h
Fri l 18 - visit area (water park). [Good Friday so lots of things will be closed].
Satl 19 - morning @ Dinasaur museum and afternoon travel to Mt. Isa Big 4. Maybe 4h.
Sun  20 - Mount Isa (stock up) [ Easter Morning service, grocery stores may not be open) . Water play area.
Mon 21 - morning leave for Lawn Hill NP (staying at Adels Grove). Maybe 4h
Tue 22 - walk/canoe. Mine tour.
Wed 23 - walk/canoe/4wd to river sleigh fossiliking.
Thu 24 - late Morning travel to Burketownm (free camp). maybe Albert River. Maybe 3h
Fri 25 - Afternoon travel to Karumba. Maybe 3h
Sat 25 -Karumba
Sun 26 - early departure to Atherton via Burke Dev (Chillagoe) or maybe leave on Sat and free camp at gilbert river. Depends on weather. Maybe 10h.

Is it enough time in lawn hill, should we bypass burketown?
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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Sunday, Mar 30, 2014 at 17:44

Sunday, Mar 30, 2014 at 17:44
Hi George,

Your proposed route is either sealed or good gravel, so no need for anything other than a standard vehicle in good condition - cant see that you would need mud tyres, a snorkel or a winch unless rain falls between now and then, in which case you would need to check that roads were open. Enough time for Lawn Hill? - depends what you want to so there as there is plenty to see including canoeing the gorge and the walking tracks, and some good swimming for the kids at Adeles Grove. If you want to have a look around the fossil site at Riversleigh an extra day would probably be good.

Since you only seem to have about 10 days I would suggest give Karumba a miss, but maybe go to Burketown (unless you decide to stop at the free camp at Gregory River as you exit Lawn Hill). There is also a good free camp at Leichardt Falls east of Karumba.

Cheers,

Val.
J and V
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Follow Up By: George C - Sunday, Mar 30, 2014 at 17:51

Sunday, Mar 30, 2014 at 17:51
Thanks, I was hoping to get to lawn hill from mt isa via Gregory and O’Shannassy River Crossings and Riversliegh and Burketown via Gregory downs. Also explore tracks around nothing graded difficult but moderate.
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Sunday, Mar 30, 2014 at 18:04

Sunday, Mar 30, 2014 at 18:04
Hi George,
From memory the river crossings are via causeways. Dont know what the water level might be now but when we went through during the dry months it was only a few inches. Dont know about 4wd tracks in that area, but if you go out to Burketown there are some interesting tracks out across the mudflats!
Cheers,
Val.
J and V
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Reply By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Sunday, Mar 30, 2014 at 18:16

Sunday, Mar 30, 2014 at 18:16
As John & Val said basically.
I can't comment about the rest of the Gulf, but Isa or Cloncurry to Lawn Hill your vehicle is fine (we've done it in our Pajero).
When towing, as with all gravel just make sure you have a good stone guard and maybe cover your rear window with corfulte/cardboard/newspaper/Perspex etc.. for additional protection. We have a camper trailer with a very good stone guard and I don't need to cover my rear window, others I've had were less significant stoneguards and I needed to protect the rear window.
Depending how active you and your kids are, I think you are staying the minimum number of days at Adels Grove to see it properly. Our kids have done a lot of camping and been to many places in the eastern half of Oz and Lawn Hill is one of their favourites.
AnswerID: 529444

Reply By: George C - Sunday, Mar 30, 2014 at 20:04

Sunday, Mar 30, 2014 at 20:04
Thanks. I will probably extend a day at lawn hill. Its good to know the HT tyres will be OK as I don't have any long trips planned till Sept after this, so it will be a waste of mt's for the school runs...

Are the drive times I have mentioned accurate?

I think Atherton, heughden, Richmond is about 8h or is that not accurate? For ex. we tend to do emerald, charters, mt garnet to Atherton in about a day, 12h driving without a problem, as we have been to the places in between so don't need to stop to much. Never been west of Hueden or Georgetown though.
AnswerID: 529455

Reply By: CSeaJay - Sunday, Mar 30, 2014 at 20:47

Sunday, Mar 30, 2014 at 20:47
Hi George
I recon one can do that route wit a normal stock standard 2wd car when driving to the conditions.
AnswerID: 529460

Reply By: Hoyks - Monday, Mar 31, 2014 at 14:55

Monday, Mar 31, 2014 at 14:55
We drove from Hughenden to Atherton via the Kennedy Developmental Rd and stayed a night at Porcupine Gorge NP along the way.

I did it in my 16 year old Ford Courier on AT tyres with no issues at all. The road was in good condition and dry at the time, but the tyre dealer in Hughenden said it can be horrible between times though. Drop some pressure out of the tyres and take your time and it should be good, watch out for road trains too. At Easter there may still be a bit of water around though, it is damp up here right now. There were a few sections where it could be damp but they were built up with gravel.

Porcupine Gorge NP is worth a look and has well set out camp sites and compost toilets. No water though, well there is but it is 200m straight down to get it, and no fires. It will probably work out well for you as it is about 1/2 way.

If the kids are getting bored then a walk to the bottom of the gorge will give them something else to complain about.
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Follow Up By: George C - Monday, Mar 31, 2014 at 20:07

Monday, Mar 31, 2014 at 20:07
Thanks, porcupine gorge is nice. We camped there last easter, this time we want to go out to lawn hill, so hopefully Atherton to Richmond in a day.
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Follow Up By: Hoyks - Monday, Mar 31, 2014 at 21:56

Monday, Mar 31, 2014 at 21:56
That shouldn't be hard. We did Longreach to Porcupine Gorge in a day... with 4 hours in Hughenden getting a tyre fixed on a Saturday afternoon. The next day it was a lazy start, a walk to the bottom of the gorge and back that and had us the Oasis Rd House for a late lunch and camp set up at Tully Falls Dam by dusk.
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Reply By: Member - BrisVegas - Monday, Mar 31, 2014 at 16:51

Monday, Mar 31, 2014 at 16:51
We did much of this area including 5 days at Lawn Hilll in Sept 18 months ago. Most of the roads are fine and you won't need mud tyres or anything. Only thing i'd suggest would be to lower your tyre pressures and your speeds. When we were there, there were lots of rocks on the roads ad some of the dips/culverts had pretty harsh edges on them. As others have said, if you're travelling to the conditions, you could get there in a sedan.

We camped at the National Park area, but visited Adels Grove for ice creams almost every day! :-) The swimming area at Adel's Grove is a bit nicer too and the kids loved it there.

Karumba is a pretty cool spot. Grab some fresh fish and chips and watch the sun go down over the water. We stayed in the caravan park in town, across the road from the water.
AnswerID: 529502

Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Monday, Mar 31, 2014 at 20:27

Monday, Mar 31, 2014 at 20:27
Pop-top vans and snorkels are mutually exclusive. If you are going into water crossings where you need a snorkel you are going to drown your van.

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