Port Fairy to Cairns – best rout on asphalt – Accommodation

Submitted: Monday, Sep 27, 2021 at 13:46
ThreadID: 142639 Views:869 Replies:6 FollowUps:10
Leaving Jan3 2022 – looking for best track to take.
Two vehicles, 1 fully off-road/grid caravan and one camper trailer,
Vehicle towing the camper is not 4 x 4 so asphalt preferred (KIA Sportage
Diesel GT) 5 Adults + 2 kids .
My concerns are finding locations to setup and weather (heat/flooding)
Thoughts so far is to get to Cairns as fast as possible then take time after that.
Port Fairy -> Echuca-> Dubbo-> Lightning Ridge-> Injune-> Charters Towers -> Cairns
Maybe stay a day at Lightning Ridge
Would I have to book to camp or are there plenty of free sites.
Is there a better track? (if it takes longer that’s OK).
(If covid borders still closed we will have to wait until open also why I don’t want to book in advance)
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Reply By: Member - Bigfish - Monday, Sep 27, 2021 at 16:48

Monday, Sep 27, 2021 at 16:48
You would want to ensure your air con works well when you arrive in Cairns. It will be bloody hot, horribly humid and probably raining.. Provided the borders are open. Possible flooding around Ingham ( I,ve been caught out 3 times in 5 years. I,d be using caravan parks for sure...
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Follow Up By: plenehan - Monday, Sep 27, 2021 at 17:34

Monday, Sep 27, 2021 at 17:34
Thanks for the update, am a bit concerned about the weather, caravan being built now, due in three weeks, has aircon but once we get to cairns we have a house there, well I hope we do, we brought it but have not been able to get up to see it (this is a one way trip for most of the crew) we'll let the weather settle a bit before we get out exploring.
Yes was thinking caravan parks but thought they would be booked out for Jan, like a lot of places
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Reply By: GarryR - Monday, Sep 27, 2021 at 16:48

Monday, Sep 27, 2021 at 16:48
Hi pleneham, not relating to your inquiry, you state you are from Port Fairy Vic. Just wondering did you realize that Port Fairy was renamed after the ship "Fairy" that bought many migrants to this country.
Port Fairy used to be named Belfast. Judy's family arrived at Belfast in the 1800's and then settled in a town now called Burra S.A,
Sorry to hijack your inquiry, but many people do not realize the the name change, except some of us oldies and family connections. We also had much family settle there.
location - Warragul -Victoria
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Follow Up By: plenehan - Monday, Sep 27, 2021 at 17:26

Monday, Sep 27, 2021 at 17:26
Yes I grew up there, currently on the edge of Melb, will be staying in Port with family for a few weeks before making the trip, knew about Belfast but not the ship "Fairy" just read the history, very interesting, I'll have to test mum at xmas time :)
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Follow Up By: GarryR - Monday, Sep 27, 2021 at 18:16

Monday, Sep 27, 2021 at 18:16
Yep, we have the original sea chest that was floated ashore from the an early landing. Judy has many dollies etc from that era that we have offered to historical societies, but sadly they do not want them. We checked our history in Burra, including family on the jail plaque for civil disobiedience, but the old family blacksmiths shop at Riverton S.A still exists as as a museum.
location - Warragul -Victoria
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Follow Up By: Member - John - Wednesday, Sep 29, 2021 at 08:27

Wednesday, Sep 29, 2021 at 08:27
Garry, another little bit of history, Belfast & Koriot Steamship Company sailed out of Port Fairy way back, my grandfather was serving on one of the Company's ships, TSS Coramba when it was sunk of Cape Shank in 1934, with the loss of all hands.......

TSS Coramba

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Reply By: Member - McLaren3030 - Monday, Sep 27, 2021 at 17:03

Monday, Sep 27, 2021 at 17:03
Hi plenehan,

Any reason for going via Lightening Ridge?

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Follow Up By: plenehan - Monday, Sep 27, 2021 at 17:14

Monday, Sep 27, 2021 at 17:14
No reason other then it looked to be on the way, haven't driven to Cairns before, we have a house there though we haven't seen it yet, this is a permeant move for most on this trip.
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Tuesday, Sep 28, 2021 at 08:19

Tuesday, Sep 28, 2021 at 08:19
OK, it is just that you will be travelling through the hottest part of the year through one of the hottest part of the state. If the main reason for the travel is a permanent relocation and not touring, then my suggestion would be to travel via Shepparton, Tocumwal and the Newell Highway and continue up to Toowoomba, then head north and north east to Gympie, and then continue on to the Bruce Highway all the way to Cairns. You could leave “exploring” central Queensland for the cooler less humid part of the year at a later time.

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Follow Up By: plenehan - Tuesday, Sep 28, 2021 at 09:15

Tuesday, Sep 28, 2021 at 09:15
Thanks Macca, yep the heat was my main concern, that's the track we will take, sticking to the coast makes more sense.
Now to pick out the stops and if I can book and cancel if covid stops us, Port Fairy already confirmed.
(lost money on Accommodation trying to get up there this year - AirBNB wont refund ).
And Yes once we get to Cairns were going to stay until the weather improves then 12 to 24 Months around AU in this https://www.vancruisercaravans.com.au/home/fury-rd-hto/ with plenty of upgrades, pick up in three to four weeks, the big upgrades were the suspension and solar\batteries\inverter looking to be off grid for long stints.

Great feel like I'm getting there now, been a long time coming :)

Cheers.


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Reply By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Monday, Sep 27, 2021 at 20:02

Monday, Sep 27, 2021 at 20:02
I would not think you'd have to book at Lightning Ridge in January. There are numerous sites just off the Highway people overnight a just before the Ridge. The main feature at the Ridge are the Grawlin diggings part way back to Walgett. Another option is the Hebel Pub.
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Reply By: Gusthebus - Tuesday, Sep 28, 2021 at 16:54

Tuesday, Sep 28, 2021 at 16:54
As someone who lives in cairns and goes to the dubbo region regularly over the years, if "quick as you can " is a priority The Great Inland Way completely misses all the roadwork on the coast road and has good swimming holes and misses the humidity and is the shortest, ( time wise). Our real wet kicks in late January lately.
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Follow Up By: plenehan - Tuesday, Sep 28, 2021 at 17:13

Tuesday, Sep 28, 2021 at 17:13
Thanks for that, been wondering about this path, thinking it would be easier to find some ware to camp as we go, was thinking the cost would be hard to find any ware at this time, wasn't sure of heat and flooded roads - will take a good look at this, good maps to - awesome plenty to look at.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - FSH00 - Tuesday, Sep 28, 2021 at 22:34

Tuesday, Sep 28, 2021 at 22:34
6 hours from Mackay to Townsville last week, normally takes me 4 1/4, road works.
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Reply By: Hoyks - Saturday, Oct 02, 2021 at 19:41

Saturday, Oct 02, 2021 at 19:41
Ive done the north south north run more than a few times. That time of year the van parks aren't too busy as it can be diabolically hot and most travelers head south or stay at home.

Ensure your vehicles cooling system is up to the job and carry some spare water. Once the sun goes down the temperature drops and the low humidity helps you sleep at night, once you're on the coast you will be looking for somewhere to plug in that aircon.

I'd avoid Brisbane as the road works on the highway heading North are painful at the moment and joining the Bruce H/Way a long way north at either Rockhamption or Townsville will save you several hours.

As said, you can get stuck at Innisfail and Tully with flooding, but you should get more than sufficient warning and be able to avoid it. A mate got stuck in Broken Hill for christmas by flooding, so it can happen anywhere.

Heading North out of Charters Towers and into Cairns via Greenvale and Atherton might be an option for you. The road is all tared, usually pretty good condition and doesn't get the rain they get on the coast, its just the last down hill bit to Gordenvale or Cairns that is a bit narrow and steep.

Try this route
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Follow Up By: Member - Warren H - Sunday, Oct 03, 2021 at 10:47

Sunday, Oct 03, 2021 at 10:47
A less steep route down to the coast is to join the Bruce Highway at Innisfail, going Ravenshoe to Milla Milla and then the Palmerston Highway.
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