Plenty Highway/Donohue Highway

Submitted: Tuesday, Mar 19, 2019 at 22:59
ThreadID: 137985 Views:1959 Replies:8 FollowUps:5
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Hi everyone, I am planning to travel on these roads from West to East towards the end of April. Does anyone have any first hand knowledge of the latest road conditions please. I mean I know that they are 'open' according to the NT/QLD websites but I am interested in the current surface conditions, corrugations, bulldust and the like.

Thank you

Macquarie

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Reply By: Genny - Wednesday, Mar 20, 2019 at 11:11

Wednesday, Mar 20, 2019 at 11:11
Whatever they are now is likely to change.
There is a fella named Trevor probably going to dump a whole heap of rain in the area.
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Reply By: Member - TonyV - Wednesday, Mar 20, 2019 at 12:52

Wednesday, Mar 20, 2019 at 12:52
Plenty bad/rough road at Tobermorey at the moment Monitor the following web page. NT road closures
TonyV

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Reply By: Member - Robert1660 - Wednesday, Mar 20, 2019 at 15:35

Wednesday, Mar 20, 2019 at 15:35
We have driven this road East to West two consecutive years, 2016 and 2017. I know this is a little while ago but I will indicate what we found.
A considerable amount of work is continuing on the NT side around about the Gem Tree area. Whilst I am mentioning Gem Tree CV Park it is worth a stopover as they do an excellent campfire dinner a various times during the week. You can also do fossicking tours. Back to the road. They appear to be sealing about 20km per year so it is slowly approaching the Queensland border. However, at the current rate it is going to take some time.
We did note that little maintenance had occurred on the unsealed NT sections from 2016 to 2017. There was much bulldust and it was badly corrugated in sections. Of course may have been graded since.
The Queensland section is in better condition and the bitumen extends over 100km west of Boulia, if I remember correctly. Thus about 60% of the Queensland road is sealed.
Jervois is very basic for camping. You do need to be quick for the limited bathroom facilities. But it is an OK place to stay.
There is a good bush camping site at Arthur River and Tobermorey is also a good place to take a break or stay.
Boulia has an interesting museum, The Stone House, with some excellent marine dinosaur fossils and of course the Min Min Experience is worth visiting.
Boulia has a very good caravan park.
Hope this helps.
Robert
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Reply By: CSeaJay - Wednesday, Mar 20, 2019 at 15:49

Wednesday, Mar 20, 2019 at 15:49
This question is posed sooo many times on the forum, and the answer in each case would be the same: (a search will demonstrate my point)
1) it is a long stretch of road, no one comment can apply to the whole road.
2) you will encounter smooth sections depending on where the grader was,
3) and a combination of gravel, sand and rocky sections where the grader has not been for a while
4) there will be patches of bulldust somewhere along the way absolutely no doubt about that
5) if it rains it is a different ballgame again
The above will apply that is for sure, especially item 1) is applicable.
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Follow Up By: rumpig - Wednesday, Mar 20, 2019 at 20:07

Wednesday, Mar 20, 2019 at 20:07
And depending on who you asks depends on how bad they think the drive is...we drove it in July last year, one person I asked just near Boulia reckoned it was horrendous to drive, I thought it was not that bad and a lot better then I expected it to be.
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Wednesday, Mar 20, 2019 at 19:31

Wednesday, Mar 20, 2019 at 19:31
There’s bitumen from Stuart Highway to Hart’s Range community now. As Robert mentioned, the Donahue has about 100kms of bitumen, in sections, to the border.

The remainder is a mix of stones, gravel, bull dust & good surfaces. Les PK Ranger & I did Gem Tree to Winton in a long day, in early July, 18. We saw quite a number of camper trailers & some caravans that day.

Just drive to conditions. Gem Tree is a great spot. Back in 2011, we also camped at Bendgeacca Ck, just off the Boulia-Mt Isa bitumen.

Bob
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, Mar 30, 2019 at 11:32

Saturday, Mar 30, 2019 at 11:32
Georgina River is, at 9am today, 4.35M above the bridge near Glenormiston Station. The River is still at over 8M upstream at Roxborough Downs, so still plenty of water to come down.

No doubt, by Easter, most of this water will have flowed down to Eyre Creek, and you’ll have an uneventful, but steady trip.

Bob

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Reply By: Macquarie - Wednesday, Mar 20, 2019 at 20:41

Wednesday, Mar 20, 2019 at 20:41
Thank you to all who replied, I appreciate your time, effort and knowledge. We shall not be in Alice Springs until around ANZAC Day and depending on the weather we will make our choice then with your comments in mind.

Macquarie

AnswerID: 624526

Reply By: Rangiephil - Thursday, Mar 21, 2019 at 10:21

Thursday, Mar 21, 2019 at 10:21
I agree with the above comments.
One bit of advice I will add is if you want to stop for lunch or a rest stop, make sure you can get right off the road as far as possible, as lunatics will pass you at 100Kmh plus without slowing down and shower you with rocks.

It is an unfortunate feature of most dirt roads in this country that many are inconsiderate.
By the same token if you see someone parked on the side of the road slow down and move to the other side if safe, and if they have a problem ask if you can help.
Regards Philip A
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Follow Up By: Macquarie - Thursday, Mar 21, 2019 at 19:28

Thursday, Mar 21, 2019 at 19:28
Thanks Phillip, good advice worth remembering.

Macquarie
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Reply By: Member - John M50 - Friday, Mar 29, 2019 at 13:46

Friday, Mar 29, 2019 at 13:46
I will be travelling east to west on the 28th and 29th April after spending 4 days including Anzac Day in Birdsville. Will be heading down to Alice Springs for a week
Beware the barrenness of a busy life.

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Follow Up By: rumpig - Friday, Mar 29, 2019 at 20:03

Friday, Mar 29, 2019 at 20:03
If you plan on staying at Tobermorey, best check how the place is travelling after just getting flooded there....the place was inundated.
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Follow Up By: Macquarie - Wednesday, Apr 03, 2019 at 22:14

Wednesday, Apr 03, 2019 at 22:14
Thanks John, we shall be in Alice Springs wih thoughts of heading east about the same time ,depending on the state of the road we may be able to wave to each other.
Macquarie
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