Standard Car and Caravan Accessibility

Submitted: Friday, Mar 26, 2004 at 11:47
ThreadID: 11567 Views:1825 Replies:6 FollowUps:5
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Hi,

I am taking my family across the top-end NT to Cairns QLD and want to know a bit more about access with a standard car and caravan. would really like to know some details of access along a variety of roads in the northern parts ofAustralia. The main highways are obviously quite good, but the smaller ones are the ones I question. I do not have a 4WD, but a standard AU falcon and 18ft Jayco Westport. I would like to go off the highways a bit, but want to be sensible. I understand that the weather can change things dramatically, but if I know the trip is not-suitable in good weather, I would not consider the trip initially.

The follow roads are examples of where I potentially would like to travel.
1. Buchanan HwyNT West fromStuart Hwythrough Tops Springs,Victoria RiverDowns, through to Timber Creek
2. Roper Hwy NT East from Mataranka to RoperBar
3. Roper Bar NTthrough toBorroloola NT
4. Borroloola NTSouth through to BarklyHomesteadon the Barkly Hwy
5. Mt Isa QLD north through to Karumba
6. Karumba/Normanton QLD East through Croydon toCairns

The details I read in things like the Lonely Planet Guide really only say something specific if it is 4WD only. Is there another source of Caravan travel access type of travel reading? For example, I don’t want to go up a long climb to a look-out and find I can make it or cant turnaround.

I look forward to your comments.

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Reply By: Member -Bob & Lex (Sydney) - Friday, Mar 26, 2004 at 16:53

Friday, Mar 26, 2004 at 16:53
Zubryn ,I will answer the one's I know
Mataranka to Roper Bar, Yes
Booraloola to Barkley Homestead ,Yes
Mt Isa to Karumba , Yes
Karumba to Cairns , yes
AnswerID: 52075

Follow Up By: zubryn - Friday, Mar 26, 2004 at 17:57

Friday, Mar 26, 2004 at 17:57
Thanks Bob,
I think those ones are sealed - is that correct?
You look like you have a very flexible rig - road conditions not a big concern.
Cheers,
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FollowupID: 313917

Reply By: DenisL - Friday, Mar 26, 2004 at 17:48

Friday, Mar 26, 2004 at 17:48
The worst bitumen on your trip is from NTborder to Mt.Isa. Get off the road in an ordinary car in the wet and you might have troubles. Be wise and try and hit the north east coast in about August.(the mexicans are starting to leave by then and parks are not chockers). I live up this way and cannot go tp popular spots in winter because the parks are all full. Best of luck.
AnswerID: 52087

Follow Up By: zubryn - Friday, Mar 26, 2004 at 17:55

Friday, Mar 26, 2004 at 17:55
thanks heaps!
I will be travelling around early July across to the East/Cairns. Thanks for the warnings about parks being full. Unfortunately our timing is not really very flexible. August I will be heading south from Cairns down the coast.
Do you think there will still be 'wet' around in June/July such that travelling is still a concern? I can stick to the bitumen, but that sounds a bit limiting. Our NT part will be May June.
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FollowupID: 313914

Reply By: DenisL - Friday, Mar 26, 2004 at 19:02

Friday, Mar 26, 2004 at 19:02
The weather is absolutely fabulous in winter with very little rain. If you throw me an email I will list some of my favourite parks
AnswerID: 52100

Follow Up By: zubryn - Monday, Mar 29, 2004 at 17:41

Monday, Mar 29, 2004 at 17:41
I would be keen to hear you favourite spots, I am not a member so cannot contact your directly. Post them perhaps?
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FollowupID: 314231

Reply By: Willem - Friday, Mar 26, 2004 at 22:03

Friday, Mar 26, 2004 at 22:03
zubryn,


1. Buchanan HwyNT West fromStuart Hwythrough Tops Springs,Victoria RiverDowns, through to Timber Creek ....Some bitumen,some dirt..Take care

2. Roper Hwy NT East from Mataranka to RoperBar.... Mostly bitumen last time I was there

3. Roper Bar NT through to Borroloola NT.. dirt..take care..corrugations. some rough creek crossings.

4. Borroloola NT South through to BarklyHomestead on the Barkly Hwy...Bitumen

5. Mt Isa QLD east then north via Cloncurry to Karumba...Bitumen

6. Karumba/Normanton QLD East through Croydon toCairns...Bitumen(Haven't been that way for a while but I am led to believe the last 100km between Croydon and Georgetown has been sealed).

There are a multitude of travel and road condition sites on the internet including this one. Go to On the road at the top of this page, then click on Road conditions and follow your nose or type into Google what you want to know and you will find an answer, I am sure.

Cheers,
AnswerID: 52140

Follow Up By: zubryn - Monday, Mar 29, 2004 at 13:09

Monday, Mar 29, 2004 at 13:09
Thanks Willem,
Does you comment "take-care" mean you should be able to if you are careful?
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FollowupID: 314181

Follow Up By: Willem - Monday, Mar 29, 2004 at 18:04

Monday, Mar 29, 2004 at 18:04
Yes zubryn....Take Care means to drive with care and not at 100kmh on dirt roads just because your car can do that speed. Most outback ROADS can be negotiated with a 2wd. It is only when the middle of a track is raised then underbody clearance becomes a problem. Some bulldust patches are deep and are worrying and you have to slow down and try to avoid them.
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FollowupID: 314235

Reply By: whyworry - Saturday, Mar 27, 2004 at 15:28

Saturday, Mar 27, 2004 at 15:28
just traveled cairns to darwin via normaton mt isa 3 ways all good just slow right down and pulloff bitchaman and stop on single lane
AnswerID: 52192

Reply By: Graham & Ann - Monday, Mar 29, 2004 at 16:58

Monday, Mar 29, 2004 at 16:58
zubryn,
Mt Isa to Karumba...as others have indicated bitumen via Cloncurry. BUT if you dont mind a bit of driving on formed gravel roads, take a side trip to Lawn Hill via Gregory Downs. Lawn Hill is a must see if your in the area, and a nice spot to stay is Adels Grove which is about 10km from Lawn Hill. But if you haven't towed a van on dirt roads before you may want to just leave the van at Gregory river and do a day trip in, or hire bungalow tent at Adels Grove, whatever, just don't miss lawn Hill if you in the area and have a couple of days spare.
AnswerID: 52436

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