Which is the best road

Submitted: Thursday, Jul 26, 2018 at 18:43
ThreadID: 137037 Views:990 Replies:7 FollowUps:11
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Hi all
Driving from Melbourne to airlee beach with a large van which is the best road north?
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Reply By: Member - Rod N (QLD) - Thursday, Jul 26, 2018 at 18:56

Thursday, Jul 26, 2018 at 18:56
Newell Highway and then inland highways in Qld. Depends on what you want to see.
AnswerID: 620344

Reply By: Mikee5 - Thursday, Jul 26, 2018 at 18:56

Thursday, Jul 26, 2018 at 18:56
Do you want scenic, dirt, four lanes, direct or round about? Do you travel at 110 or 80. The best for you might be the worst for someone else.
AnswerID: 620345

Reply By: Johnnytasman - Thursday, Jul 26, 2018 at 19:57

Thursday, Jul 26, 2018 at 19:57
Direct four lanes travel at 90
AnswerID: 620346

Reply By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Thursday, Jul 26, 2018 at 20:24

Thursday, Jul 26, 2018 at 20:24
I have just done Tamworth to Airlie Beach & return earlier this month via a couple of ways
I've done it numerous times over the years
I'm assuming you just want to get there the quickest way with no en route sightseeing

You have numerous choices

Your choice on how you get to Gilgandra, then you have the choice of continuing
(1) to Moree, then either onto St George and Roma,
(2) From Moree north to Goondiwindi then north to Miles, west to Roma
(2) From Gilgandra north to Coonamble, Walgett, Hebel, St George.
I think the Road from Hebel north could be single lane bitumen in places, perhaps someone can correct me. Then onto Roma
For 1-3 From Roma onto Emerald, Clermont, Nebo, Mackay

Google Maps will possibly tell you shortest/ quickest way is to Goondciwindi, then stick to the Leichardt Highway north through Miles to Banana, dog leg north of Banana to Duaringa, west over to Dingo and north to Nebo and Mackay. I was surprised with the quality of the roads on this route, they were as good as any Qld Highway and not as many slow caravans on it.
I towed a heavy camper trailer there & back at 100km/hr

Bit a decline down the range from Nebo to Mackay which has some road works, but nowhere near as steep and long as most of the NSW Divide crossings or Cunningham's Gap/ Toowoomba range.
Once you get north of Gilgandra/ Goondi driving comes much easier with fewer trucks and general traffic (I hate the Newell).
Then suffer the Bruce Highway for 90 minutes to Prosperpine.

Mark

AnswerID: 620348

Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Thursday, Jul 26, 2018 at 20:59

Thursday, Jul 26, 2018 at 20:59
Mark, I know what you mean about the Nebo range not being so steep but you would be surprised how many truck drivers lives that range has claimed and how many heavy loads climbing that hill lose traction in the dry and get into trouble. At least they are doing something about it now.
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FollowupID: 892767

Follow Up By: Johnnytasman - Friday, Jul 27, 2018 at 08:12

Friday, Jul 27, 2018 at 08:12
Mark you say you have recently done it 'a couple of ways', which was easiest?
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FollowupID: 892768

Follow Up By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Friday, Jul 27, 2018 at 13:11

Friday, Jul 27, 2018 at 13:11
Johnny

I prefered the way Google Maps suggested which I'd never done previously which was up the Leichardt Highway , dog leg north of Theodore, then up the Dingo - Nebo road. That's probably because I hadn't done it before and I enjoyed the different scenery. Google Maps said it as 45 minutes quicker than the Goondi-Roma-Emerald route, but I didn't try to measure it
Not much in it, both of those routes are very flat, the Leichardt Highway possibly marginally flatter, small 200m rise on both going through the Sandstone Belt

My calculations said going through/by Rocky and up the Bruce added a good hour to it, plus my dislike of the Bruce Highway and it's heavier traffic and more variable speeds.
Really not a great deal in it, go up one way back the other.
Mark
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FollowupID: 892770

Reply By: 9900Eagle - Thursday, Jul 26, 2018 at 20:51

Thursday, Jul 26, 2018 at 20:51
Newell then after Dubbo at Brocklehurst turn off and go up through Mendooran and come back onto the Newell before Coonabarabran( shorter with less hills and no B-doubles unless they are moving cattle. Up through Moonie to Miles where you will get a bit of seasickness on the black soil plains and a bit before Taroom, then onto Dululu. If towing a heavy van, go through Westwood and not Mt Morgan, then down to Rocky, then up the Bruce to Airlie. Mt Morgan to Gracemere is shorter but just a little windy and one very short steep decent after Mt Morgan. if your not worried about the short decent go via Mt Morgan as it is good to have a look at the old mining town.

AnswerID: 620349

Reply By: tazbaz - Friday, Jul 27, 2018 at 17:24

Friday, Jul 27, 2018 at 17:24
Whichever way you go avoid the Newell Highway - its the main trucking route to Brisbane with two thousand B doubles per day going through Coonabarraban
AnswerID: 620368

Follow Up By: Johnnytasman - Friday, Jul 27, 2018 at 17:35

Friday, Jul 27, 2018 at 17:35
How the hell do you avoid the Newell highway?!
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FollowupID: 892775

Follow Up By: Member - Rod N (QLD) - Friday, Jul 27, 2018 at 17:55

Friday, Jul 27, 2018 at 17:55
Done the Newell numerous times and never had a problem with traffic, especially trucks.
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Follow Up By: Johnnytasman - Friday, Jul 27, 2018 at 18:09

Friday, Jul 27, 2018 at 18:09
Ah but were you towing a 3 ton caravan?!
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FollowupID: 892778

Follow Up By: Member - Rod N (QLD) - Friday, Jul 27, 2018 at 19:05

Friday, Jul 27, 2018 at 19:05
2.5 tonne with a Dmax.
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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Saturday, Jul 28, 2018 at 07:29

Saturday, Jul 28, 2018 at 07:29
The Newell is fine, even the Geese at Coonabarabran manage to wander across theNewell at the Castlereagh River many times a day.

I use it quite a bit, both towing a van and driving anything from singles to B doubles up that road, although not so much these days. Most truck traffic drops off at Goondiwindi and you get a good run north.

Have been on most of the roads mentioned in the last couple of months including up through Bourke. There is a lot of Stockfeed, grain and cotton being moved around at present, so you will still meet plenty of long truck combinations on the road. It is a long way to Airlie going via Bourke. If you wish to have a look or burn a lot of fuel then go for it but if you want to get to Airlie then as I said through Gundi then up to Rocky via westwood is the quickest easy route.


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FollowupID: 892784

Follow Up By: Johnnytasman - Saturday, Jul 28, 2018 at 17:47

Saturday, Jul 28, 2018 at 17:47
Hi Eagle,

So do you think it is better to get to the coast at Rocky rather than continuing on the A4- A1 thru Nebo to the coast?
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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Saturday, Jul 28, 2018 at 20:41

Saturday, Jul 28, 2018 at 20:41
Yes! but for different reasons to what you may think. As I and Sir Kev have said, if you come up from Gundi straight through you will get some rock and roll from Moonie to Condamine and some before Taroom due to the black soil moving under the road beside the road and everywhere else. You just drop your speed a little to accommodate.

The reason I like entering the Bruce at Rocky is it is the quickest run and an easy descent to the coast. The run up to Airlie from there is easy as the Bruce is through mostly open country with many overtaking opportunities for trucks and other vehicles. For the first 35K from Rocky to Yammba passing is a bit restricted.

Nebo is fine but you will get a lot of mine traffic on the Peak Downs Highway from Cleremont, trucks, wide loads, mine vehicles and workers. The Eton range is also no worries if treated with respect. They are doing a lot of work on it but that is not much of a holdup. It is not a long descent and you will probably be in a line of vehicles from the roadworks. On coming down the range, many got caught either missing speed limit or trucks use low gear signs leading to nasty accidents.
If you go via Nebo you can turn off at Eton over to Marian across the Pioneer River and come out 5K south of Kuttabul which saves you going into Mackay and back out. Just have a look on google maps.

All the roads are good by my standard, wide enough with just a bit of broken surface here and there, the same as any rural/regional area.

Couple of times loaded with 2.5t caravan on the back, I will leave a mates place at Goondiwindi and be in Mackay by the evening.

Hope the weather is kind to you and have a good trip.


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FollowupID: 892796

Reply By: Johnnytasman - Friday, Jul 27, 2018 at 18:16

Friday, Jul 27, 2018 at 18:16
How about going up the B75 b64 b87 through Bourke then b71 a71?
AnswerID: 620370

Follow Up By: Sir Kev - Saturday, Jul 28, 2018 at 10:53

Saturday, Jul 28, 2018 at 10:53
Watch for Goats and roos either side of Bourke.

A71 is good to Cunnamulla and then onto Charleville.

I personally would not do the Leichhardt Highway. I would go Moree, St George, Roma, Rolleston, Emerald, Clermont.

The Leichhardt is doable but the melon holes from just south of Moonie to almost Condamine make for a very bouncy drive. (yes I drive that road often for work and avoid it when ever possible).

Cheers Kev

The foolish flaunt their little skill while the wise conceal their abundance.

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