Cross country east to west

Submitted: Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 10:07
ThreadID: 108459 Views:1745 Replies:8 FollowUps:15
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I heard some time ago that there was to be a "tarred" crossing across Australia somewhere via Mt Isa or slightly north ,and coming out near Carnarvon.Is this still happening?

Also what is the easiest way from Newcastle to the West Coast via Mt Augustus?

Serious questions.

alan



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Reply By: Motherhen - Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 10:19

Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 10:19
Hi Alan

There has been talk about eventually sealing the Gibb River Road, the Tanami, and the Great Central Road. Huge costs (proposal to seal Tanami based on funding from the transport industry). Will it happen? Probably eventually - give it thirty years.

Motherhen
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 10:55

Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 10:55
Alan,

A lot of push from some of the councils in western, and SW Qld, to get the Donohue/Plenty h'ways sealed, and eventually the GCR as well. Think it's called the "Outback Way" (The longest short cut in Australia)

Recently there was $23M allocated for roads in SW Qld, and of this $11M was for sealing of the Donohue. Not sure if this would complete sealing to the NT border, but would certainly fill in a lot of gaps. Will never be an all weather road because of the nature of floods in the Georgina River.

Can't help you with your other question. What about Qantas......TIC :-)

Bob

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Reply By: rocco2010 - Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 11:00

Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 11:00
Alan

People have been talking about a sealed highway across Central Australia for decades. Just like the fast train from Melbourne to brisbane and the second Sydney airport ( though it seems that might happen now the have finally decided on a site).

The last thing I read was the language been downgraded a bit to an "all weather highway"' which doesn't necessarily mean bitumen.

I normally would defer to Motherhen on all things, but this time I'll disagree. I think it is a fantasy.

I dont know about a full route from Newcastle, but once you get to WA the Great Central Road is usually good dirt. You can travel fromLaverton toMeekatharra on bitumen and from there on mt Augustus
is reasonable dirt roads with the proviso that they might be closed if it has been raining.

Cheers



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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 11:14

Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 11:14
Hi Rocco - I did give it 30 years ;) I was going to say "not in our lifetime" but some of our readers may be a lot younger than me.

So many replies while I was playing with various routes on maps :O.

Mh

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Reply By: Echucan Bob - Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 11:04

Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 11:04
Alan,

I think economics will dictate that such a road never happens (or at least not for a very long time). Such undertakings only occur if there is a need to truck primary produce or minerals to the coast, or if a politician is repaying a favour. As the road crosses many states and electorates, the chances of that happening are very small.

Personally, I think it would be a tragedy. The Australian wilderness is a national treasure. A bitumen road will destroy it for ever. Some who live in remote places demand a road to make their lives easier, and to give them economic opportunities - well here is a cheaper alternative - move to a city.

In November 1998 my brother I drove from Maroochydore to Carnarvon. The first part of the trip was seriously rain affected, and the Georgina was in flood. We were forced to follow the bitumen through QLD up to Mt Isa, then across to Tennant Creek and down to Alice Springs. The Todd was flowing.

From Alice Springs we headed out through Haasts Bluff, Camels Hump, Kings Canyon, then Uluru, Docker River, Warakurna, Gun Barrel Hwy, Wiluna, Meekatharra, Gascoyne Junction, Carnarvon. I regret not going to Mt Augustus when we were so close.

In April this year our trip took us from Alice Springs west as far as the Telfer Mine before we headed south to the Rudall River.

This was a far easier track than the GBH. So if I were looking for the easiest way from Newcastle to Carnarvon I'd drive to Alice via the Plenty, then out the Desert Road to Kintore, Kiwirrkurra, Kunawarritji, Punmu, Marble Bar, Paraburdoo, Mt Augustus, Carnarvon. Or maybe head south before you reach Marble Bar and go through Newman to Mt Augustus.

Sounds like a great trip. Plenty to see along the way, especially through the West Macdonnells, and the Pilbara.

Bob
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Follow Up By: Tjukayirla Roadhouse - Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 11:28

Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 11:28
How does adding bitumen to the surface of the road destroy the Australian Wilderness? (do you mean the bush or the Outback or the Desert or something? not sure of this wilderness stuff you speak of)
As for saying anyone that doesn't like it should move to the city, was your road always bitumen?
If you have to drive corrugated dirt roads constantly for work, or to provide services, or just to go to town when you live out here, you appreciate the difference a good road can make. "move to a city" is very condescending and shows you know little outside your little zone.

As to the road being bitumised, yes, it will happen, it has already started, the latest section to be done was the last 10km's into Laverton, finished just last week.
There is now 30km's outside Warburton and we have 7 here. At those rates it is going to take quite a while to do, but it will be worthwhile. There is a group of people fighting hard to get this done, and I for one appreciate thier efforts.
there has been $33m dedicated to this project over the next three years, and it is going to take a lot more, but eventually, those gaps will get smaller and smaller.

Cheers
Al
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 11:31

Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 11:31
The Gary Junction Road is one I recommend over the Great Central or the Tanami for road condition, scenery and remote desert travel. Google does not compute the Gary Junction Road but this calculates
3017 Newcastle to Papunya
1435 Gary Junction to Marble Bar
817 Marble Bar to Mount Augustus

This totals 5269 kilometres compared to 4673 for the Nullarbor route Newcastle to Mount Augustus, and a bit less if taking the more direct road Meekatharra to Landor.

Darn, server was down when I tried to submit. I hope I have the right linked maps this time – too many open making comparisons.

Mh
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 11:37

Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 11:37
Thanks for the info Al. Of all the outback roads, sealing the Great Central would be of huge benefit to Western Australians. Is the area now sealed near Warburton the area that floods?

At present for sealed road travel Western Australians only have two options to leave the state by road - go south to the Eyre Highway or go north to the Victoria Highway.

Mh
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Follow Up By: Tjukayirla Roadhouse - Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 11:43

Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 11:43
the Causeway on the Western side of Warburton has had a lot of work done to it, and has been concreted, then from about 5km's past there the road is sealed right to the Tjirrkarli turn off (Heather Hwy) which has always been the worst for getting corrugated, so it makes a much more pleasant drive now
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Follow Up By: Tjukayirla Roadhouse - Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 11:44

Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 11:44
oh and funnily enough, the scenery around that 30kms is exactly how it was before... ;-)
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Follow Up By: Echucan Bob - Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 12:04

Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 12:04
Al

"(do you mean the bush or the Outback or the Desert or something? not sure of this wilderness stuff you speak of)"

Have a look at your profile pic. Its a servo surrounded by wilderness.

I can understand why you want bitumen - more grey nomads filling up with your fuel = more profits.

Maybe they should bitumenise the Sandy Blight Junction Track while they're at it. Open it up to more tourists. Splendid.

Bob

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Follow Up By: Tjukayirla Roadhouse - Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 12:18

Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 12:18
We don't benefit from increased income Bob, we work for a salary. The Roadhouse (different to a servo) does however, and it would certainly benefit from actually making a profit one of these years ;-)

I want bitumen because it creates easier access for all concerned.
And yes, it would be great to see more tourists able to enjoy this country without doing damage to their vehicles. Would also greatly benefit transport companies, same reason, as well as making a cheaper safer faster route East to West.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 12:35

Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 12:35
What I believe Bob is saying is that a bitumen road means more trucks, caravans and traffic in general, and then more infrastructure and regulations to support it. So what is now a wilderness becomes busier and with it the litter. Al as one who works there sees things from a different perspective and naturally would like to have his life made easier. And while Al says the country does not change just because you put a road in I disagree. Once you have a road your vista has a road in it along with traffic, people, litter, wayside stops just as on any other road or highway. Part of the current situation is the challenge of travelling some of these roads and their isolation.
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Follow Up By: Member -Alan R NSW - Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 16:23

Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 16:23
Thanks for your input guys . Last time we went around Oz (taking 3 + years and towing a 23 ft Supreme van), we had to miss Mt Augustus due to floods. The wife has it as the last item on her bucket list and I was looking to comply with her wish.
4wd travel in isolated areas no problem

Thanks Alan

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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 16:30

Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 16:30
Alan R you are a smart man. Enjoy your trip.
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Reply By: Motherhen - Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 11:09

Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 11:09
Looking at the "easiest" way, the quickest and shortest is via the Nullarbor. You will have unsealed road getting to Mount Augustus from any direction.

This Google map Newcastle to Mount Augustus shows the shortest highway route, but Google does not compute the road I would choose from Meekatharra to Mount Augustus via Landor. This also uses the unsealed road between Wiluna and Meekatharra. Upgrades are being undertaken on this road but it will only be sealed in patches such as floodways during this work. The sealed alternative to Meekatharra is via Sandstone to Mount Magnet.

Mh
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 11:25

Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 11:25
Sorry, I accidentally link the wrong map. Try Newcastle to Mount Augustus

Mh
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Follow Up By: get outmore - Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 12:31

Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 12:31
the roads leading to Mt augustus are nothing short of brilliant

a few years ago I got to mt augustus from work near Yalgoo and it was very wide very flat very smooth and straight dirt roads all the way north -
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Reply By: get outmore - Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 12:25

Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 12:25
theres only one fully sealed road that goes east/west and it does so in 2 spots along the north of australia and the south
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Follow Up By: get outmore - Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 12:29

Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 12:29
sorry
its national highway 1
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Reply By: Ron N - Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 16:29

Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 16:29
An old prospector at Higginsville, said to me in the late 1970's - whilst pointing out the new, upgraded Coolgardie-Norseman Hwy;

"You know, they reckon that highway cost a million dollars a km. You wanna know something? It's worth every cent of it!!
When I first came here in 1923, the 'highway' was just two wheel ruts through the bush - and you spent more time driving IN the bush, than ON the 'highway'!
That old 'highway' wrecked thousands of cars and trucks, and cost us a fortune in slow deliveries, damaged goods, high cost goods, and hundreds of injuries and deaths in unnecessary crashes!"

You can't beat good roads. Mind you, I'm a little biased - I've built thousands of kms of good roads. [;-)

Cheers, Ron.
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Reply By: MUZBRY- Life member(Vic) - Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 19:01

Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 19:01
Gday
If Victoria has anything to do with the bitumen road it will have toll gates.

Muzbry
Great place to be Mt Blue Rag 27/12/2012

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Follow Up By: Steve - Tuesday, Jun 24, 2014 at 22:09

Tuesday, Jun 24, 2014 at 22:09
ha - it'll be cheaper to hop on a cruise than to drive

;)
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