Newman to Brisbane accross the top

Submitted: Tuesday, Aug 23, 2016 at 14:38
ThreadID: 133282 Views:4602 Replies:7 FollowUps:3
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Hi, I need to bring a medium ridged truck (4x4 NPS 300) back from Newman WA to Brisbane. Instead on going around the bottom (Nullarbor, Pt Augusta, Broken Hill ect) I am thinking of going across the Top. Marble Bar, Port Headland, Broome, Kununarra, Katherine, Tennant creek, Mt Isa, Cloncurry, Roma and finally home. By my calculations it should take about the same amount of time but I am not sure of the road conditions. I will be leaving Newman around September 12. I have 6 days to do it in.
Should I do it or go the safe (boring way)? Does anyone know the road in WA and the Territory? What are they like?


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Reply By: Ron N - Tuesday, Aug 23, 2016 at 15:29

Tuesday, Aug 23, 2016 at 15:29
813 - With the route you mention, you're talking about a National Highway route. It's dual-lane sealed highway all the way.

But its 5639 kms by the route you speak of, and 5,056kms going South, through Kalgoorlie and Norseman and across the Nullarbor.


Click and drag the blue Southern route to the Northern route to see the difference in distance.

Cheers, Ron.
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Reply By: Member - RobnJane(VIC) - Tuesday, Aug 23, 2016 at 19:41

Tuesday, Aug 23, 2016 at 19:41
Or if you are up for a little adventure you could take the Gary Junction Hwy then up to Tennant Creek, depending on current road conditions would be a great drive, just need your own accomodation.

Worth a look.


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AnswerID: 603756

Reply By: 9900Eagle - Wednesday, Aug 24, 2016 at 10:27

Wednesday, Aug 24, 2016 at 10:27
Over the top is fine if you don't mind the extra kilometres.

Don't know if you drive long distances, over 5000K in 6 days is fairly normal for long haul lnterstaters but it will be wearing. You will be in the chair for around 11 hours a day for 5 days on a really good run, you also have to factor in fuelling comfort stops and meals, plus roadworks and reduced speed areas. Weather can also be factored in as the season is anything but normal.

Have a safe trip.
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Reply By: vk1dx - Wednesday, Aug 24, 2016 at 10:46

Wednesday, Aug 24, 2016 at 10:46
From the map that Ron posted, the southern route is quicker.

Add in all the extra support, mfood and accommodation available on that routs, I would take the southern way.

If you are comfortable with a week in the drivers seat at 11 hours a day then maybe the northern way. Not me though. Maybe when I was young!

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Reply By: 813 - Wednesday, Aug 24, 2016 at 11:53

Wednesday, Aug 24, 2016 at 11:53
Thanks for the feedback guys, everyone makes very good points and there is no doubt the smart thing to do is to go down south however Rob has peaked my adventurous side. I have all the gear so that is no problem however still a very short time to plan a trip such as this and that spells danger!
Before I spend too much time, and get too excited has anyone driven Gary's Junction this year? I have added in the Plenty highway as well (we did that last year and it was fine).
Route would be Marble bar, Telfer, Kintore, Warren Creek, Alice Springs, Plenty Highway, Boulia, Brisbane.
Sounds simple when you only put in a few waypoints. I do understand the challenges and the conditions and I need to get back to work at some stage, however it may be the only chance I ever get to do this road so I might as well think about it.
Feedback appreciated.
AnswerID: 603772

Follow Up By: Ron N - Wednesday, Aug 24, 2016 at 17:15

Wednesday, Aug 24, 2016 at 17:15
813 - Think about hundreds and hundreds of kms of bouncing across corrugations in a forward control 4WD truck - that's not really designed for operator comfort - and the longer way on a superb National Highway, just might look a bit more attractive - if somewhat boring.

I've run a V8 forward control Bedford truck multiple times between Adelaide and Kalgoorlie, and the boredom of the Long Paddock is pretty overwhelming - even though the Bedford did do 110kmh.

However, the Bedford did ride very well, despite being forward control - and a lot of that is long front springs on the Beddy.

However, the 4x4 NPS 300 doesn't have the spring length of the Bedford and I don't reckon the ride is anywhere near as good as the old Bedford.
If you've actually got a suspension seat, that might assist the ride greatly.

Cheers, Ron.
FollowupID: 873377

Reply By: Dean K3 - Wednesday, Aug 24, 2016 at 19:28

Wednesday, Aug 24, 2016 at 19:28
don't forget you be limited to 80-90 kmph tops on bitumen so you be slower than a double roadtrain does when cruising along. I hear them along hwy behind my house and gearboxes axles tyres all screaming at 80 or more

parabolic floaty ride might also help but with wheel under your bum it be in for bit of bashing on rough sections -take time enjoy yourself

could always go via tanami track across from halls creek down to alice then across from there
AnswerID: 603789

Follow Up By: Ron N - Thursday, Aug 25, 2016 at 10:00

Thursday, Aug 25, 2016 at 10:00
The little Isuzus are fast, don't worry about that. They will all do 110kmh.
I have an Isuzu FSR500 5 tonner and it will do over 130kmh, factory standard with the 6 speed gearbox.

Cheers, Ron.
FollowupID: 873398

Follow Up By: Motherhen - Thursday, Aug 25, 2016 at 23:03

Thursday, Aug 25, 2016 at 23:03
The Gary Junction is more direct than the Tanami, and a lot easier driving. For an unsealed route, that is the way to go.

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FollowupID: 873465

Reply By: 813 - Wednesday, Oct 05, 2016 at 12:51

Wednesday, Oct 05, 2016 at 12:51
Hi, Just an update for you. We have arrived back in Brisbane from Newman. After a hell of a lot of thought and some re-gigging of fuel and safety gear we decided to go the "adventurous" way through the middle. What a fantastic decision it turned out to be. A great trip, extremely interesting and pretty much hassle free. Unfortunately we couldn't continue on the dirt for the back half as the Plenty was closed however the trip to Alice (Newman, Marble Bar, Telfer, Pumu, Jupiter well, Kintore, Glen Helen and Alice) was amazing and missing out on the Plenty gives us something to look forward to the next time the truck needs to be relocated.
The Black Top from Alice was still well worth it anyway (Tennant Creek, Mt Isa, Longreach, Roma and home). Whilst I would have preferred to do the trip in a 200 series the truck was fantastic and it did it easy without too much fatigue of our bodies or machinery. Thanks for everyone's advice, all very valid but I am glad in the end we decided on the route we did. A couple of longer days at the back end but we still managed to do it in 6 days.
AnswerID: 604915

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