Blog Review: Central Arnhem Highway

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Dear Stephen, amazing post and a great resource! You mention that locals are driving 2WD without problem on what you report as being generally quality dirt road.
Would you have any strong cautionary advice on driving to Nhulunbuy specifically in a 2WD. We would take with us all appropriate safety gear for conservative and safe driving in the outback. We will also be checking with local information centres for up to date advice.
Best,
Tom
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, Jun 21, 2019 at 13:58

Friday, Jun 21, 2019 at 13:58
Hi Tom

Compared to the Cape York roads, the Central Arnhem Highway is a breeze, and yes the locals up there were driving stock standard conventional passenger vehicles, from Fords, Holdens and there was even a very old Subaru WRX being driven by one Aboriginal family.

As with any dirt road, slow down and drive to the condition, and carry a good quality compressor and tubeless tyre repair kit and make sure you have the best possible tyres on your vehicle.

One local that drove straight through and told me he sits on nothing under 100kph was driving a Holden Captiva with standard highway tyres. He hit a large dip in the road and the car hit hard, but did not have any issues...so he thought.
When we were speaking with him the day after he got into Nhulunbuy, he had two front tyres that had cricket ball size bulges from hitting the dip at around 110kph and then still drive over 300 kilometres before arriving in Nhulunbuy.

He admitted that if he was driving slower, and had slowed down, he would not have caused the tyre tyres to be ruined.

As I said in my Blog, yes there are corrugations, but only very short lived and it would be easy to go faster than we travelled (we dropped our tyre pressures down as I do for dirt roads and go no faster than 80 kph)

It is a great drive and would do it again at the drop of a hat.



All the best



Stephen
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AnswerID: 626330

Reply By: Member - Bigfish - Friday, Jun 21, 2019 at 15:59

Friday, Jun 21, 2019 at 15:59
I,ve driven the Gove road many, many times. Its condition varies with the weather.Also if the grader has been through recently. I,ve done the Cape York road and find it is not as good as the Gove road but just another dirt road any ways. I,ve seen dozens of cars smashed into trees on the Gove road from people just going too fast. Yes..some local aboriginals do have 2wd...only because they cant afford a 4wd and they buy them cheap in Darwin and get them barged over in the wet or sometimes drive in the dry. Most spend their lives in the community..i.e Rammo or Lake Evella. As suggested take your time and carry spares. Personally , I wouldn,t do it in a 2 wheel drive. You have to apply for a permit and unsure about now but at one time they wanted to know make and model of vehicle. The road is improving all the time and as such there are a lot of speedsters on the road as well. Remember also if you do break down you wont have phone reception and it is very, very expensive to get a flat tray out to pick you up. Leaving your vehicle and getting a ride into town often means the vehicle will be trashed/vandalised by the time you get back to it.
AnswerID: 626340

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