Highway 95 North

Submitted: Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 10:27
ThreadID: 136755 Views:1130 Replies:5 FollowUps:4
G'day Adventurers

I've just ventured back home above the 26th parallel after 22 days away, mostly doing 'stuff' that can't be done anywhere in the Pilbara or Kimberley simply because we are too far from the comfort zones most professionals (sic) call home.

My wife and I choose to tow/use our caravan when the situation has us venturing away for any more than a few days, it is convenient as the initial 1160 kilometres can be covered over a two to three day period, not quite a holiday but a relaxed run giving us enough time to get into the rhythm of travel, this seems an odd thing to say, but I need a couple of hundred kilometres behind me to feel at ease with the noises and vibrations the Land Cruiser and caravan generate as we travel, we logged a total of 3968 Kilometres over this 22 day period, traveling south to Albany and back to the Pilbara all trouble free regarding the caravan and Cruiser.

The first major population base south of our home town is Meekatharra in the Gascoyne region of the big state, Meeka is actually a very nice tidy town and a far cry from what it was 10 years ago, this initial 420 k run is through mostly unfenced cattle country there are plenty of suitable places where you can pull up for a break, some of these places are set up with the ubiquitous concrete table/seat and shelter affair some actually have dunnies that are wheelchair friendly and all have a dump point if you need to off load 'product' if you have an on board dunny.

A few of these designated rest areas are a 24 hour free camp place, though a tad too close to the highway for my liking, they are okay if you don't mind people coming and going at all hours, or a road train or two hauling cattle or sheep parked up close by.

Our preferred camp style is well off the Highway somewhere deep in the scrub, but these preferred places are steadily disappearing as more and more unfenced lease hold land is being plundered for whatever resource a would be miner is chasing, I was surprised to find a favorite place in a Nature reserve is now an active mine site, I deleted this little camp spot from my GPS favorites menu.

Mount Magnet is as close to half way to the city from home at 600 k's, it was once a nice place to stop, fuel up and at times actually stay in the caravan park, now there is only one service station operating, the Swagman or Caltex servo is it and now there is a long wait or queue just to get fuel, as most travelers grab a hot take away meal etc or use the facilities before moving away from the fuel pumps. The BP service station closed down a couple of years ago.

Gold Miners have taken hold of most of the once open country side, fencing 'their' land off so it's totally out of bounds to the would be metal come gold hunter.


Cue the 'Queen of the Murchison' is a little town that is undergoing some very visual changes, fairly touristy but nice and the caravan park is always chock ablock with prospective Gold hunters at this time of the year, near by Lake Nallan is bone bloody dry and seemingly not a nice place to camp or even stop for a break.

There are roadworks going on in many areas along the highway, with the usual slow points controlled by the 'lollypop' people who for the most don't seem to be enjoying the out door life/job style they have?

The highway it self is the main road that connects the state so it's a vital link, but sadly it's a real shame, disgraceful actually and not a hell of a lot has changed with it in the 30 something years that I have traveled it's length, I've seen it flooded and cut off due to scrub fires, road train accidents and all sorts of stuff that causes a closure ~ bad luck if your caught up by a couple of swollen creeks or a section of highway that has been washed away because of the once in a hundred year flood event.

This particular trip/journey had it's highway hold ups too, although the weather was and still is magnificent so there is no issue with Mother Nature, there are major road works south of the wheat belt town Dalwallinu, where the highway is being completely re aligned re engineered and hopefully better built than the already deteriorating New Norcia section.

The hold ups along the skinny bits of the Great Northern Highway or 95 North were all rolling holdups for most parts rolling between 20 to 80 Kmph, with little or no chance to get around them for a long ~ long time.

So if you are planning a trip into the northern regions of WA and planning on a run up 95 North expect to be part of a rolling road block somewhere along the way.

Safe travels : Joe Fury.


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Reply By: Idler Chris - Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 11:30

Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 11:30
Thanks for your blog Joe. There is nothing odd about needing a few hundred kilometres to ease ones self into the trip. Mick O made the same comment many moons ago and I realised that I am the same. Its all rush, rush, rush, until you drive off from home, then its to late to worry about anything you have forgotten, its just too late.
If you want to go a little bit overboard, when you see your first cow you put your hat on.
Chris
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Reply By: Member - William B (The Shire) - Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 11:39

Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 11:39
Thanks for the blog Joe,

Like you and I suspect a lot others I take a while to settle into the trip, especially towing my caravan.

It seems it takes me about a hour or so to get into the groove of anticipating hills and the like.

William
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Reply By: Life Member - Duncan W (WA) - Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 14:36

Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 14:36
You've got to love our WA mobile slow points!!
Usually takes me a couple of days to get used to the time in the saddle on long trips after months of short home town trips.

Cheers

Dunc
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Reply By: mountainman - Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 18:06

Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 18:06
I was only just over that way nearly a month ago.
Vic to wa/ broome and back in 11days
10700km
Amazing scenery
Plenty of black eagles.. and crap load of road trains..
Quite a few grey nomads in what you would think be a 140k plus motorhome which you would think capable of doing the speed limit but got frustrating when your.... the one working and got thousands of kms in front of you.
But they would sit on 70 -90 km.
Makes it pretty dangerous when your speed limited to 100km...
And they sit in close convoy that ou need to overtake 2 of them to get past.
As they dont have a 20tr gap between them or more.
That certainly was more dangerous than overtaking a 53mtr roadtrain! !
Roadtrains were awesome to deal with ! :-)
Very professional !!
Mind you i did hate the pilot / escort vehicles.
One guy would say northbound 5.8 2up..
And repeat every 5mins which was fantastic.
Plenty of warning to pull the truck and trailer over at a decent spot
Others would only say hey buddy 5.8...
Or just 5.8....
And that was it.
No direction. ..
I did unfortunately hit a dog and killed it.
Also 3roos got very lucky as i was able to slow up in time and only just hit them.
Thinking i had a roo massacre on my hands i pulled up and had to check if they were dead / hurt but they bounced away thankfully.
Dearest fuel was 1.91 around Eucla roadhouse
Mudrabilla roadhouse was like 1.71 which i though was really good
This is diesel by the way.
Avoid pardoo roadhouse like the plague ! Out of Port hedland going north to broome
It is a must do trip for everyone !
Highly recommend!

Most disgusting thing was the toilet paper littered as far as you could see at roadsid rest stops, just everywhere and not only that but alot of baby wipes and unfortunately nappies !! YUCK! !
Disgusting pigs !!!
AnswerID: 619125

Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Friday, May 25, 2018 at 12:42

Friday, May 25, 2018 at 12:42
We dont need a special licence for caravan drivers. we need a licence and proper training to allow people to stop on the road for a crap. The filthy pigs who crap on the side of the road shouldn't be allowed in a vehicle...unless of course they are headed to an abattoir. Cant go to many outback places now without crap paper spread everywhere. Just revolting animals..
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Saturday, May 26, 2018 at 14:15

Saturday, May 26, 2018 at 14:15
I had one of those infuriating grey nomads in a dual cab towing a caravan, overtake my fully-loaded 5 tonne truck, just out of Kellerberrin, this week.

I can normally sit on 105km/h on the flat sections, but the old girl pulls back on the hills a bit with a full load.

So this donkey roars past me on the crest of hill at 105kmh (when I'm doing about 85km/h up the hill - then promptly slows down to 90kmh as he gets in front of me, and I start to pick up full speed downhill!!

He must have got a shock when I immediately overtook him again, at 105kmh!

It's O.K. if you want to sit on 90km/h on the cruise control - but don't overtake me at 105km/h when I'm climbing a rise - and then promptly slow down to 15km/h below my cruise speed, and thereby block me from resuming my normal cruise speed!

And for any pickers who say the truck speed limit is 100km/h - for trucks under 12 tonne GVM, the speed limit is 110km/h - and I do that speed regularly, as the truck will actually do 130kmh, with no trouble.

Cheers, Ron
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Follow Up By: mountainman - Saturday, May 26, 2018 at 20:02

Saturday, May 26, 2018 at 20:02
From what i seen on the WA sign crossing the Eucla border.... trucks must be speed limited to 100km/h
Anything towing cant go faster than a 100k in wa
Where you speak of Ron ?
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Saturday, May 26, 2018 at 21:10

Saturday, May 26, 2018 at 21:10
Mountainman - In W.A., for trucks under 12 tonnes gross weight, the speed limit is 110km/h.
If trucks are over 12 tonnes gross weight, they're limited to 100km/h.

Under 12 tonnes GVM, the vehicle is classed as a "light vehicle".
Over 12 tonnes GVM, the vehicle is classed as a "heavy vehicle", and truck regulations apply.

All towing vehicles are limited to 100km/h in W.A., that's correct.

Cheers, Ron.
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Reply By: Ron N - Saturday, May 26, 2018 at 14:24

Saturday, May 26, 2018 at 14:24
The BIL is a Main Roads traffic warden escorting oversize loads - and he was saying last night, the amount of oversize movements will increase substantially throughout the North of W.A., over the next 2 years.

There are many mining companies ramping up operations, the hunt is on for more lithium and rare earth deposits, and Chevron has just announced a $5B expansion of the NW Shelf gas well drilling.

As a result, the amount of heavy trucks on the road in W.A. will only increase.

This is despite a lot of loaded semi-trailers also being barged to the North of W.A. now in large quantities, in dedicated multi-level barges.

The amount of equipment being moved to the North of W.A. is absolutely staggering, and it's not going to end any time soon.

I went to a trucking company auction about 10 days ago, and the buyers fought over the semi-trailers and dollies, like there wasn't going to be any more built.
Just shows the demand for trucking equipment at present.

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 619174

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