Road conditions

Submitted: Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 15:23
ThreadID: 22615 Views:2653 Replies:5 FollowUps:4
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Gidday All,I am heading North from Mackay soon and want to travel up to Chilligo and then on to the Bourke Dev Road.On this road there is a turnoff to the right that leads to a point just North of Laura.This road is approx 130ks long and I would like to know what the road conditions are like as we are towing a camper van.
Any replies would be appreciated.
Thanks Locallaw
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Reply By: sdc - Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 15:48

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 15:48
If that's the road through Palmerville, Fairlight and Lightfield I was there 3 years ago. In some place it is just two wheel tracks through long grass. I had no trouble in a Forrester. Some v steep dips on the Laura end so would have to take care if towing a van. Main problem would be the Mitchell River Best to phone Palmerville Station 40602279 or Mt Mulgrave statation 40948354.

We came from Laura to Chillagoe

Have fun

AnswerID: 109466

Reply By: sdc - Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 16:01

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 16:01
Hi Locallaw Am having second thoughts about the info I gave maybe the dips are too steep for a van. Some did have side tracks to get down but don't rememberif they all did. If you have a small van and big grunt you may be ok. It seemed that Fairlight station trucks their cattle out through Fairview and Laura while Palmerville trucks theirs out through Mt Mulgrave and Chillagoe ..So the road/track between Fairlight and Palmerville is seldom used. This is just an observation at the time.

Hope this helps

AnswerID: 109471

Reply By: Tripp'n Around - Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 21:40

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 21:40
Hi Local

Our info from the times we have travelled this way.

We went through there via Dunbar through to Laura in 2002. The road was rough with plenty of bulldust patches and gates along the Develpment Road. I spent a lot of time in and out opening gates along the way. We stopped on the Mitchell R just down from Mt Mulgrave Station overnight, a very nice place to camp. After leaving the Palmer R H/stead it was quite rough for about 20klms.

We went through there again the same way last year. This time the same road was graded and much better than 2002 but with bad wheel ruts from trucks driving on it in the wet. There was still some bulldust patches. The numerous gates were gone and grids were in there place. The Mitchell R was still the choice of camp for overnight. The only gates then were from Mt Mulgrave to after the of R H/stead.

If going through the Palmer R H/stead the lady there likes to see who's coming and going so make sure you stop and say "hi and thanks" if they're about, which is not unreasonable. If you want to stay there overnight on the Palmer River it's best pop up and ask the owners before you set up. We met a few people along the way in 2002/2004 who had done just that.


AnswerID: 109522

Reply By: Patrol22 (Queanbeyan - Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 12:51

Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 12:51
I took a group of 6 vehicles, three of them towing camper trailers (1xCavalier, 1xKangaCamper and 1xTVan) through this route in July last year. The road was pretty good from the turnoff to the end of the Mareeba Shire and then there was some corrugations but not as bad as you will experience further north. There are uninviting signs up along the way about Palmerville and you cannot access Maytown through this way (I think that's still the case). Aparently the old lady died and the family members who have taken over have gone a bit twisted. You can however ring Palmerville (07 40602279) to confirm details. As someone has mentioned earlier the campsite at the Mitchell River crossing is magnificent. We intended staying for 1 night and ended up staying for 3. Give Howard a call at Mt Mulgrave Station (07 40948354)and seek advice on access and camping - pretty friendly and genuine bloke.
Be careful on the road from Chillagoe to the turnoff (approximately 90kms from Chillagoe just past Wrotham Park Station) - we struck a line of 5 road trains and had to park on the side of the road for about 20 minutes to allow the dust to settle - couldn't see a bloody thing.
All in all this is a much better route than going through Mt Molloy to Lakeland Downs and then on to Laura. If you go up through Hughenden you can also stop off at the beautiful Porcupine Gorge and then at the Lava Tubes near Mt Surprise.
I have the oziexplorer files for this trek. If you would like them post and email address and I will send them to you.
AnswerID: 109602

Follow Up By: Patrol22 (Queanbeyan - Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 14:21

Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 14:21
ps the Mitchell River crossing is only about half a kilometre from the Mt Mulgrave homestead and is now a breeze. A couple of years back they installed a concrete causeway for the full crossing and unless the Mitchell is running at 3 or more metres then you won't have a problem.
FollowupID: 366210

Follow Up By: Megastrike - Friday, May 06, 2005 at 14:53

Friday, May 06, 2005 at 14:53
I rang Palmerville Station and spoke to Dori. What a loverly lady. Loves to talk!

Anyway, I am interested in a comparison between the Mitchell River crossing at Mt Mulgrave Station and the Palmer River crossing at Palmerville Station. Which would be better to camp at? At this stage I am looking at stoping at the Palmer River.

How much travelling time is there between the Burke Dev Rd and the Peninsula Dev Rd where it comes out noth of Laura?

FollowupID: 366616

Follow Up By: Patrol22 (Queanbeyan - Friday, May 06, 2005 at 17:28

Friday, May 06, 2005 at 17:28
From memory Palmerville crossing is quite pretty and tranquil. It is a fair drive from the Mitchell crossing and I would say both sites are on a par. We elected to stay at the Mitchell for a couple of reasons - 1. It was about that distance from our previous night's camp at Undara to make it comfortably and 2. Palmerville wasn't that inviting when we were there. But why not camp at both spots - a night or two in each would be great. Fish the Mitchell and pan the Palmer for a bit of gold.
Seriously, though while they are only a couple or three hours apart we were just too tired to go any further having had a few long days on the road - Canberra to Nyngan, Nyngan to Longreach, Longreach to Undara and then Undara to the Mitchell for a well-deserved rest.
FollowupID: 366636

Follow Up By: Patrol22 (Queanbeyan - Friday, May 06, 2005 at 18:09

Friday, May 06, 2005 at 18:09
oops missed the last part of your question - you could travell this section in about 4 hours depending on your vehicle and how many pics you want to stop and take. The Fairview/Fairlight (?) homestead would have to be one of the best sited housed on the planet. So it is certainly worth a pic. We travelled comfortably from the Mitchell to Coen in well under 6 hours.
FollowupID: 366643

Reply By: locallaw - Friday, May 06, 2005 at 15:16

Friday, May 06, 2005 at 15:16
Gidday all Thanks to those that replied your suggestion will be very helpful.
Seeya Locallaw
AnswerID: 110038

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