Alice Springs to the Cape

Submitted: Tuesday, Apr 14, 2015 at 15:08
ThreadID: 117481 Views:1329 Replies:5 FollowUps:5
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Over the coming weeks I could be asking a number of questions in relation to my planning of a trip from Perth to the Cape and back. Due to the tyranny of work & other commitments it will be a mad dash trip of 5wks - 6wks at the most. When I retire I'll have the luxury of a dawdle trip.

Today's questions are:

1) Alice Springs to Mt Isa which is the better route to take scenery wise; the Plenty Hwy or Sandover Hwy? Or

2) Do we dodge Mt Isa and head straight to Winton via Boula and then to Hughenden;? Or

3) If from Mt Isa to Cloncurry do we head north to Normanton and then Cairns from there.

It's all very confusing as there are so many travel options in Qld to get to the same point.

Cheers

Dunc





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Reply By: Member - Rod N (QLD) - Tuesday, Apr 14, 2015 at 17:08

Tuesday, Apr 14, 2015 at 17:08
I take it you mean Cape York and not Cape Naturalist or Cape Byron. If you are set on doing such a long trip in such a short time you should stick to sealed roads to Laura.
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Tuesday, Apr 14, 2015 at 18:00

Tuesday, Apr 14, 2015 at 18:00
Hi Ron & thanks. Gravel roads and distance don't really bother me and as an example we did a mad dash Perth to the Simpson Desert and the Birdsville to home in 18 days last year via the usual iconic routes. Long days when the road was good and shorter days when the road/track was bad. Driving a 75series Troopy the speed aint high.

Cheers

Dunc

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Reply By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 14, 2015 at 19:24

Tuesday, Apr 14, 2015 at 19:24
Bit immaterial Dunc, as if you are going anywhere near NW Qld you "just have to" drop into Lawn Hill. It's a bit of a cross between Katherine Gorge and many of the Kimberly Gorges. Though they are all different and I'm comparing gorges I've been to over a 30 year period, to me Lawn Hill was the pick of them.
Mad if you don't drop into it for a couple of days.
Up the Shotover to Camoweal and then onto Lawn Hill, out of it to Normanton.

If you need a big town, then detour via Mt Isa.


Mark
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Tuesday, Apr 14, 2015 at 19:53

Tuesday, Apr 14, 2015 at 19:53
Thanks for the suggestion Mark. Always happy to receive advice and from what I've seen Lawn Hill ticks all the boxes.

Cheers

Dunc
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Reply By: Member - Scrubby (VIC) - Tuesday, Apr 14, 2015 at 19:44

Tuesday, Apr 14, 2015 at 19:44
G`day Dunc,
Everything going to plan, I hope to go from the EO National Gathering at Ross River, about 80klm east of Alice, to cape York in July.
Like you say there are a few options and I am in the process of deciding the best for me.
At the moment it looks like I will travel the Plenty Hwy to Boulia , turn North to Dajarra, Cloncurry, the Burke Development Road to Normanton, Dunbar, New Dixie then onwards to join the Peninsular Development Road a bit South of Musgrave .
Except for a bit of the Stuart Hwy and another bit near Normanton this is completely new scenery for me.
You don`t say when you are doing your trip but you are more than welcome to tag along with me if you wish. I will be leaving Ross River the morning of July 9th.

Email me if you like. scrubb at t p g dot com dot au

Scrubby.
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Tuesday, Apr 14, 2015 at 19:51

Tuesday, Apr 14, 2015 at 19:51
Thanks for the offer Scrubby but this is long term planning (wishing) for 2016 or 17. All depends on my commitments during that period, available leave isn't an issue and if I was selfish & didn't give a stuff about work or anything else I could have 13wks or more available to use. Expect though that it will be July/August. May even look at hiring a hard floor camper trailer so as to entice my wife to come along.

Cheers

Dunc


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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Tuesday, Apr 14, 2015 at 20:08

Tuesday, Apr 14, 2015 at 20:08
Dunc,

Photo below is about the only "scenery" on the Sandover. but it's a good, quiet drive with a good surface(when we went along it in 2011)



The Plenty has Harts Range so is streets ahead, plus a bit of other scenery. Definitely the nicer drive of the two, just that the Plenty gets more use, especially by road trains. Once you hit the Donohue H'way, in Qld, there's quite a bit of bitumen, maybe close to 100 clicks, into Boulia. Road to Isa is scenic, as is the road to Winton. Both are primarily single lane.

No doubt you plan to go up on one route and come back on another? If i was back seat driving for you, I'd go across the Plenty to Boulia, Winton, up to Hughenden, then up the Kennedy Development Road through The Lynd, Mt Garnet and up to Mareeba, and north from there. We were up, and back on this road over Easter, and there's only about 100 kms of gravel left between Hughenden and The Lynd.

Then return via Normanton, Lawn Hill, Camooweal, across Sandover, and you're nearly home. Two ways to get to Normanton: via Chillagoe along Burke development road or through Mt Surprise, Georgetown and Croydon, along Gulf developmental road. This latter road is all bitumen, so might be a good route if you wanted to make up a bit of time.

Head from Normanton to Burketown, then down to Gregory Pub and across from there to Lawn Hill is a good route....all bitumen fro Burketown to Gregory now.

Enjoy the trip, sounds good. If you decided to skip lawn Hill, it's mostly single lane black top from Normanton to the 'Curry.

Bob

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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Tuesday, Apr 14, 2015 at 20:24

Tuesday, Apr 14, 2015 at 20:24
Thanks Bob you're a champion that's the sort of info I'm chasing.

Cheers

Dunc
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Follow Up By: Member - Wildmax - Tuesday, Apr 14, 2015 at 23:00

Tuesday, Apr 14, 2015 at 23:00
You can cut a bit of time from the Cape back through to Normanton by turning off just south of Musgrave Station on to the track that cuts through Dixie and Koolatah and across the Mitchell River to Dunbar.
Then you'd be well positioned to head via Burketown and Gregory Downs to Lawn Hill.
An interesting trip all the way - enjoy!
Wildmax
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Reply By: OBJ - Sunday, Apr 19, 2015 at 10:59

Sunday, Apr 19, 2015 at 10:59
Just pick one route and travel that. You can't do two at a time. Then you have an excuse to come back and travel those routes you were not able to do first time around. It doesn't matter which one you choose because the rest will still be there when you are ready.

OBJ
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