Plenty Highway

Submitted: Friday, Aug 04, 2017 at 23:17
ThreadID: 135343 Views:2344 Replies:4 FollowUps:0
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I'm planning on travelling Alice Springs to Boulia via the Plenty/Donohue Highways in early September.

Any updates on recent conditions?

Is Jervois a reasonable stopover point?

Is fuel available at Tobermorey?
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Reply By: Member - Robert1660 - Saturday, Aug 05, 2017 at 10:17

Saturday, Aug 05, 2017 at 10:17
Hi Bob,
We travelled the Plenty/Donohue highways last month. The Queensland section, The Donohue, was in good condition. This road is now about 60% bitumen, with the sealing being about 100 km out from Boulia. Unfortunately the same cannot be said about the NT side of the road. A considerable amount of road work is being done around Gem Tree and the bitumen has been extended a further 20 km or so in comparison to what was there when we travelled the route in 2016. However, I suspect that with this road work the rest of the Plenty has been sadly neglected. We found the road to be very corrugated with very large area of bulldust. I don't think any maintenance has been done since we travelled the road in 2016. Certainly not a road for a standard caravan. We towed a Tvan.
We travelled from Boulia to Alice and initially were going to stay at Tobermorey. However, because the Donohoe was in such good condition we travelled onto Jervois arriving there at about 3:45 after a 7:15am start from Boulia.
Jervois is very basic. There is only one male and one female toilet/shower and when we were there 20 other people were also camped so easy access to facilities could have been an issue.
Rather than travelling from Gem Tree directly to the Stuart Highway we took the Binns Track which branched off the Plenty near Gem Tree and headed to the abandoned mining town of Arltunga. Well worth a visit. On the trip you will pass a relatively new station stay, Hale River Homestead at Old Ambalindum. The facilities there are outstanding. The place has been completely restored. If nothing else at least stop for coffee and cake.
If you stay at Gem Tree don't forget to enquire about the wonderful camp dinners that they provide. I think that they are about $20 per head but they serve about 50 caravan park guests in an open air dining area. We were there on NT Day and there was a great fireworks display as well.
Best wishes for your travels.
Robert
Landcruiser 200 Altitude Diesel + Tvan Murranji

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AnswerID: 612872

Reply By: Tony - Monday, Aug 07, 2017 at 04:33

Monday, Aug 07, 2017 at 04:33
Travelled the Plenty/Donohue last month in July. Agree the road is in better shape on the Qld side than NT. Road was closed for a number of days in July following rain and was pretty chopped up when we travelled it. Road crews most likely have been out since. Fuel is available at Tobermorey, Jervois and Gemtree but always worth checking by a phone call before leaving Alice. We came up from the Hay River on the Simpson Desert and stayed at Jervois rather than Batton Hill. Jervois has basic but clean facilities and would stay again.
AnswerID: 612918

Reply By: CSeaJay - Monday, Aug 07, 2017 at 14:33

Monday, Aug 07, 2017 at 14:33
With the Plenty highway, you will encounter many different road conditions due to it's length. I am sure you will encounter
gravel, sandy, rocky, corrugated, rough, smooth. The lengths of these sections vary as a result of weather, traffic, when last the grader came through, etc.
Not being flippant, seriously a bit of everything.
Yes there is fuel at both Tobermorey and Jervois.
Tobermorey is the nicer of the two for a stopover (green grass, good amenities) whereas Jervois is quite basic and dusty
Cheers
AnswerID: 612924

Reply By: Sigmund - Monday, Aug 07, 2017 at 20:18

Monday, Aug 07, 2017 at 20:18
This far out is a limited guide to the dirt conditions you'll find.

Generally the Donahue is distinctly better maintained than the Plenty though.
AnswerID: 612933

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