Towing a van from Sydney to Cairns

Submitted: Thursday, Sep 19, 2019 at 20:14
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We are towing a 16 van from Sydney to Cairns going to try about 500klm a day, we are wondering what routes have people gone and stop overs any advice would be appreciated.trying to do at least hills as possible as tow car weighs close to 3tn and doesn't like hills
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Reply By: Member - Neil T6 - Thursday, Sep 19, 2019 at 21:03

Thursday, Sep 19, 2019 at 21:03
As I live in Cairns and have no experience of NSW coastal roads I will only give my opinion re the section from the border north. Avoid the Toowoomba area, keep off the coast road and once at Charters Towers head to Townsville then Cairns. Avoid the Atherton Tablelands at all costs. Too many caravan parks/stop overs to mention, all pretty much the same although cheaper inland if cost is a factor.
AnswerID: 627754

Reply By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Thursday, Sep 19, 2019 at 21:42

Thursday, Sep 19, 2019 at 21:42
Take M1 north to Newcastle, left onto New England Highway, one 300m elevation hill to get over at Murrurundi, you won't see another hill until north of Injune ( via Gunnedah, Moree, then half a dozen ways to Roma, your choice). After Injune a few hills through Carnarvon Range and one hill between Rolleston & Springsure and none again until you go down the hill from Charters Towers to Townsville. It's about 2400km that way without consulting Google from Sydney.
If you travel east of that route there are more hills and it is longer.
There are variations, eg through Coonamble to Roma or popping down the hill from Clermont via Nebo to Mackay, from memory it's fairly flat between Mackay and Townsville
I've done several different routes from Tamworth to Mackay-Cairns in the last 20 years. If I was a first timer and just wanted to get there over five 500km days I would do the first route.

Where to stop is your choice, free camp, caravan park, are you going to stop and look around, how long have you got? You haven't mentioned so it's hard to make a recommendation.
From memory none of those hills would be as great an elevation climb/change as the road north out of Wollongong to Sydney if you are familiar with that

AnswerID: 627755

Reply By: 9900Eagle - Friday, Sep 20, 2019 at 07:29

Friday, Sep 20, 2019 at 07:29
Phil, as Mark pointed out Nowlands Gap out of Murrurundi is a fair pull.

If you decide to go up the Pacific and Bruce there is a lot of roadworks south of Rockhampton to Miriam Vale, some just north of Gympie and a bit on the M1 near the sunny coast although that will be ok at non peak hour times.

If you go inland and decide to drop down to the coast to Rockhampton, from Dululu go via Westwood. If your brakes and lower gearing are good you can go down via Mount Morgan, it is just a short sharp descent down to Gracemere.

You can come down at Mackay via the Peak Downs Highway with only a drop down the Eton Range.

Down via Charters Towers to Townsville you only have the Mingella Range to go down but these days it is not a hassle. There are a lot of triple road trains on that section, as they can now go all the way into Townsville. Most will be travelling around 90kph,

Inland, if you decide to go Goondiwindi to Dingo and your van is single axle, you will get a fair bit of rock rolling and bucking from Moonie to Condamine and a bit before Taroom caused by the black soil country.

500 a day is an easy day, but if you want to take in the sights a bit, 400 would be better.

Have a good trip.
AnswerID: 627757

Reply By: Member - Vince M (NSW) - Friday, Sep 20, 2019 at 17:54

Friday, Sep 20, 2019 at 17:54
I drive from the south coast of NSW to Port Douglass about 3 times a year & have for years, the way I go is
Option 1) Sydney to M1 to Seahampton (Newcastle) then M15 to Singleton to Willow Tree to Gunnedah to Narrabri to Moree to Goondiwindi to Miles to Banana to Rockhampton (2 ways the harder way but quicker is thru Mt Morgan or easier Thru Westwood to Rocky.) then up the Coast to Cairns
Option 2) or the same way to Goondiwindi then several ways to Roma to Emerald to Charters Towers to Townsville then on to Cairns

Its normally about 24hrs in drive time from Sydney on the 2 routes but by the coast to Rocky allow an extra 12+ hours
AnswerID: 627771

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