outback drive

Submitted: Sunday, Mar 22, 2015 at 03:39
ThreadID: 117163 Views:2442 Replies:7 FollowUps:2
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Hello to all the true believers in all that is good about this site for travellers. I hope someone will be able to offer me some advice and guidance. My wife and I will be driving in our A1 mechanically 2004 Subaru Forester XS Luxury AWD.
We have done some drives in North West of Victoria, North East of South Australia, Western NSW and North East of Queensland. So we are travellers of some distance and varied terrain.
This trip we are considering will be from Melbourne to Broken Hill, Milparinka, Cameron’s Corner via Toona gate and Fort Grey Road then onto Innamincka. After that we will travel through Jundah then onto Longreach then on the Landsborough Hwy Mt. Isa then back through Longreach, Emerald, Roma, Charleville and down the Kidman Way to Griffith, Finley, Shepparton and Melbourne. Will this type of car be ok thru to Cameron Corner then to Innamincka? When would be the best month to head off with 5-6 weeks travel in mind? We are 63 years old and know we need to break our driving often. What should we make sure we see besides the obvious sights like Qantas, Stockman’s Hall, Burke & Wills tree etc. on this route?
We will be taking about 6 weeks to drive it and staying at motels/cabins at caravan parks whenever we want to stop. I would appreciate any help with our trip.
Anton & Mary.
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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Sunday, Mar 22, 2015 at 07:04

Sunday, Mar 22, 2015 at 07:04
Hi Magpies,

Given that the outback roads that you mention are generally quite reasonable, graded gravel roads you should not have any trouble, provided there is no rain. Best time to go would be during the winter months - May to September, and even then it can be hot. Carry plenty of water and a couple of spare tyres. We did a similar trip in 2011 and you can read it by clicking here. That will give you an idea of conditions and some places and things to see.


J and V
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Sunday, Mar 22, 2015 at 07:40

Sunday, Mar 22, 2015 at 07:40
And will echo Val's comments. We came down from Innamincka last ear via Toona gate and with all the oil/gas activity roads are in great condition.

The Jundah area is great, take your time to enjoy...

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Mar 22, 2015 at 08:59

Sunday, Mar 22, 2015 at 08:59
Hi Anton & Mary

Seeing you will be in Mt Isa, you will be so close to Lawn Hill and you would not want to miss this piece of paradise.

Just my thoughts while you are in the area.


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Follow Up By: Member - Tony H (touring oz) - Sunday, Mar 22, 2015 at 09:32

Sunday, Mar 22, 2015 at 09:32
Ditto to Stephen's comments about NOT missing Lawn Hill.
The trip you are planning (I believe) in a Suby will be a breeze for it, they are a very capable vehicle as you would already be aware of.
The only suggestion I have for you is make sure the tyres are in good nick & look out for stray wildlife near the side of the road.
Your going to be seeing a lot of country..... maybe six weeks wont be long enough?
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Reply By: Member - Wildmax - Sunday, Mar 22, 2015 at 18:49

Sunday, Mar 22, 2015 at 18:49
You'll be fine in a Suby if you drive sensibly and look after your tyre pressures etc.
We have changed to more off-road kit these days, but did three major round Aus trips in two Outbacks and then a Forester and had no problems at all. Great vehicles for any reasonable standard gravel tracks.
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Reply By: Kevin S - Life Member (QLD) - Sunday, Mar 22, 2015 at 20:07

Sunday, Mar 22, 2015 at 20:07
If you do Lawn Hill Gorge and/or Adels Grove, unless you can establish that the road in from the Camooweal end has been recently graded you should go in via Cloncurry, Bourke & Wills and Gregory. The road from Camooweal was awful. It is a shorter distance on gravel and better maintained roads through Bourke & Wills and Gregory. When we were there in July 2014 there was a petition on the counter at Adels Grove to request that the road be graded regularly. It may have achieved results, but probably not.

While in Cloncurry don't miss the Rev John Flynn Memorial Museum. It tells the story of the formation of the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Well worth a couple of hours.

Check out my signature picture. It is of the falls and Upper Gorge. By the way, since last year a small tour boat operates on the Gorge. Again time and money well spent.

Cheers, Kevin
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Reply By: Kilcowera Station Stay - Tuesday, Mar 24, 2015 at 09:25

Tuesday, Mar 24, 2015 at 09:25
Why don't you try some station stays while your cruising about. 3 come to mind looking at your itinerary.Bindara on the Darling and Nelia Gaari - not far from Broken Hill. And Pimpara Lake between Packsaddle and Milparinka. All are members of Outback Beds. Sounds like a fabulous trip your planning. Cheers Toni
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Tuesday, Mar 24, 2015 at 19:53

Tuesday, Mar 24, 2015 at 19:53
Anton & Mary,

If you are going to the Isa, why not go through Boulia, say on trip up there, and return down the Landsborough H'way. Some really good scenery between Winton and Boulia, and the Min Min Centre in Boulia is well worth a visit.

There's a lot to see in Winton and surrounds too!!!Australian Age of Dinosaurs, Lark Quarry dinosaur stampede(should be open if you come after June?), Waltzing Matilda Centre, Corfield & Fitzmaurice store, the Musical Fence, Truck & Machinery Museum and outdoor dining at both Tatt's & the Winton Pubs. Searle's Store is definitely worth a visit and have a yarn to Bernie, Peewee and Fran. They have almost everything there.

Mt Isa has the Riversleigh Centre, where they exhibit fossils from Riversleigh, near Lawn Hill, as well as a mine tour. You can get a good feed at either the Buffs or Irish Clubs too.

John Flynn Centre in the "Curry has a lot of history about RFDS, and the district. Think there's somewhere else in town too, but its name escapes me. :-(

You can get a good feed at McKinlay Roadhouse, and the Crocodile Dundee pub is worth a visit.Kynuna has the Blue Heeler Pub, where you can camp, and get a good feed.......'n a cold beer. Not far out of Kynuna, towards Winton, is the turnoff to Combo Waterhole, which is the waterhole where the shearer drowned in the song "Waltzing Matilda"

If you are going south from Emerald, towards Roma, there's some good scenery near Springsure, and again down near Injune.

Hope that gives you something to work on?


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Reply By: melbourne magpies - Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 23:10

Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 23:10
thanks heaps to all that took the trouble to put down a few words.
I will print out the replies and take them with me after pencilling in the info on my notes,
Anton & Mary
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