Alice to Boulia via Plenty

Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 09:05
ThreadID: 20034 Views:1920 Replies:9 FollowUps:0
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Hi All

We are taking 15 days from Broken hill to Alice in July but then need to head back more quickly. I am looking at maps and wonder:
a) Is Alice to Boulia via Plenty the quickest way? (then we go to Longreach and eventually Gold Coast)
b) Is it sensibly able to be done (812kms) in one day?
c) Is there a good spot to stop about half way?
d) Would we miss any 'must see' spots by blasting through like this?

Any advice/comments gratefully received.
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Reply By: MrBitchi - Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 09:25

Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 09:25
Mate, depends. If you're short of time stick to the highway.
The Plenty can very be corrugated with some big bulldust patches. The Queensland side (Donahue) IS very corrugated. Little more than two wheel tracks in places.
If I were you I'd look at stopping at the border atTobermorey Station or there abouts. They have a good little camping area with a basic store, petrol/deisel, tyres and basic mechanical. Fuel pretty dear so try to carry anough for the whole trip. Thats a good days run from Alice.
From there to Boulia will take another half day.
IMHO, pushing it in one day is asking for trouble.

Cheers, John.
AnswerID: 96197

Reply By: pmacks - Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 09:26

Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 09:26
this is a great trip on reasonable dirt road you could do it in one day but it would be better in two with a stop at jervious where there is a big rest area, we also stopped at the middleton pub for a beer. The road is not as good on the Queensland side but is still fine we were towing campers and had no trouble travelling at 90 klm most of the way. there was very little bulldust the last time we did it and as with all out back roads the only problem is when it is wet.
have a great trip
AnswerID: 96198

Reply By: Bob of KAOS - Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 10:50

Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 10:50
It can be done in a day but as said above the road is pretty harsh and your risk of tyre damage increases dramatically the more above 80 kph you go. Look out for turkeys coming toward you at high speed - guaranteed to break your windscreen.
AnswerID: 96214

Reply By: JohnN - Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 11:21

Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 11:21
Ok thanks for the help... much appreciated.

Sounds like 2 days is more sensible and safer....

Is there anywhere to stay other than the tent along the way... we will have been in the tent for close to 3 weeks by this stage and the wife has been promised minimal tenting on the way home....

AnswerID: 96223

Reply By: MrBitchi - Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 12:40

Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 12:40
They do have a couple of cabins at Tobermorey station.

AnswerID: 96241

Reply By: Member - Tim - Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 13:13

Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 13:13
We stopped at Jervois station on the way across from Boulia and I am pretty sure they had a couple of cabins there too. I think their camping area was alittle but nicer and less open than Tobermorrey. When we went it probably would have been possible to do the trip in a day but two was much easier. We didn't have any tyre problems but there were two cars stopped changing their tyres on the Qld side as we went through. Tobermorrey station was $1.50 a litre while at Jervois it was "only" about $1.30 at Harts Range it was $1.18 ( those are unleaded) but that was a couple of years ago now.

Middleton pub is half way between Winton and Boulia, not on the Plenty or Donahue highways at all but it is a great place to stop for a break. Have a good look at their football field :).

As far as places to look at get the Wesprint map and it shows all the interesting things along the way. There is a massive termite mound as well as the gem fields closer to the Alice end. If you are looking for something a little bit different it is worth going into the east McDonnell ranges on this side of Alice, looking at the gorges and spending a night at Arltunga. Arltunga is the first settlement in that area and has some good gold mining history. Ruby Gap is fantastic but is a long weay from any where and is really a day trip from Arltunga and back (doesn't look much on the map but the track is fairly slow). When we went there there was only one other car and generally most of the tourists seem to head for the West McDonnells which is certainly a spectacular area.

There is a track that goes down from Arltunga and comes out on the Plenty highway near the gem fields and you can then head on to Jervois.

We kept getting reports that the Plenty was cut, that it was realoly rough, that someone got bogged etc etc, even the police at Boulia didn't really have any good information. When we actually travelled it we had no problems at all and were wondering what all the fuss was about. It could be interesting after rain though.

Have fun, Tim.

AnswerID: 96244

Reply By: warthog - Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 15:03

Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 15:03
We did Alice Boulia about 10 mnths ago in about 13 hrs travelling with a 3 year old and a 4 year old. We had a number of stops and the kids slept alot so at that time the road was great. Our neighbours travel across every year, previously in a 2wd hilux and now in 4wd hilux. They always do it in a day and have never had worse than one flat tyre, vehicles are always well maintained however. If I was to spend an overnight stop Tobermorey woul be the go; lovely people and good facilities. Having travelled the Barkly a number of times I would always take the Plenty in preference, much nicer drive and shorter in distance.
Have fun, Chris
AnswerID: 96257

Reply By: Footloose - Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 17:20

Wednesday, Feb 02, 2005 at 17:20
Depends on a lot of things, mainly the weather. If its wet then be prepared to stop for a while :) Otherwise Alice to Boulia is do able in a day...but its a long day. I've done Alice to the Isa in 1 day....but never again.
AnswerID: 96271

Reply By: JohnN - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 08:58

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 08:58
Thanks for all of that... it was really helpful.

An extra day in a month trip is no big deal so Tobermorey it is.

AnswerID: 96396

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