Queensland outback

Submitted: Tuesday, Nov 26, 2002 at 01:00
ThreadID: 2467 Views:1723 Replies:5 FollowUps:5
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We are planning a trip from Adelaide via Maree to Birdsville then on to Boulia and Mt Isa, and then to Burketown, then across to Cairns.
We have no idea as to the expected travelling speed on the Birdsville track and Eyre Developemental road to Boulia. We'd like to get an idea as to how far we can go in a day if the roads are in good condition.
e.g From Maree to Birdsville, can it be done in an easy day, OR, do you have to stop half way. Same for Birdsville to Boulia.
Our Jeep is reasonably set up for outback travel.
Many thanks
Rob and Doris
(new outback travellers)
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Reply By: Kelly Green - Tuesday, Nov 26, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Nov 26, 2002 at 01:00
I travelled from Birdville to Boulia 3 years ago the track was badly rutted we travelled at 80kms on average. We actually travelled from Birdville to Tobermoray in 1 day, we would have liked to have had a little more of a look around but didn't have the time. We nearly had an accident when an on coming vehicle was travelling a little too fast and thinking she might hit us tried to move across further to the left thus taking her out of the ruts, she then lost control and headed side ways at us, luckily we were travelling slow enough to move gently off the road (the Development Road) and she finally manage to gain some control to avoid tipping. She was very lucky she didn't tip and a little shaken up. Beware too some of the mining and locals fly along this road.

AnswerID: 8983

Follow Up By: Rob - Wednesday, Nov 27, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 27, 2002 at 01:00
Thanks , Kelly, for your help. Your advice is much appreciated.

Doris and Rob.
FollowupID: 4524

Reply By: Member - Willem- Tuesday, Nov 26, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Nov 26, 2002 at 01:00
Dear Rob and Doris, Please do not be offended but, I have seen some dumb questions on this forum, and yours certainly takes the cake. You drive to suit the road conditions, mate. On some sections of that road you may only be able to 80 clicks and in other places you may be able to do 110 clicks. But what happens if you come upon a washout at speed? It could be a nasty experience. What's the hurry anyway ? Just take it easy and if you don't make your destination before sunset then camp for the night. Cheers, Willie
AnswerID: 9004

Follow Up By: Tuco69 - Tuesday, Nov 26, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Nov 26, 2002 at 01:00
My sentiments exactly! Drive to suit the conditions - not what others, or even the RAC say! Drive at what is a comfortable, safe pace that suits you, your vehicle and load.
FollowupID: 4490

Follow Up By: Rob - Tuesday, Nov 26, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Nov 26, 2002 at 01:00
We take offence at your comment Willem!!
We have never been on those particular roads and was merely trying to get an idea as to the amount of time needed to set aside for the driving.
We love this great county and have travelled widely across it taking in the sights and experiencing the outdoors, without speeding from place to place.
We had no idea whether those roads required speeds in the area of 40-50kph OR 80-100kph. We know that road conditions change, but we were just trying to get a starting point from which to start preparations for the trip.
Many thanks for your friendly and helpful advice.

Rob and Doris
FollowupID: 4495

Follow Up By: Old Soldier - Wednesday, Nov 27, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 27, 2002 at 01:00
Willem, I agree entirely with Rob and Doris, your smart comment was offensive.

If you would have bothered to read their post in full you would have seen that they qualified themselves by stating they were novices at outback travel.

They asked legitimate questions and they get your smart, ill thought out remarks - quite a welcome to this forum.

It has been my experience that the only DUMB question is the one that is not asked.

When you got round to it, the advice you gave was sound, but was the smart arsed comment about their question being stupid really necessary???

I won't add any further advice to Rob and Doris, as there has been enough good points offered from the more mature members of this forum - Mike in particular

I think an apology to Rob and Doris is in order
FollowupID: 4518

Reply By: Bob Y. - Tuesday, Nov 26, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Nov 26, 2002 at 01:00
Rob, As you'll be having a holiday, as Willem and Tuco said, take your time. There's plenty to see, and it'll be a lot more relaxing if you do the trip at a pace to suit your experience, which you admit is nil. We currently live in the area that you mention, and we drive to suit the conditions too. The bulldust and loose sections are very common this year, because of low or nil rainfall, whereas 3 years ago, mud and dried out wheel tracks were the danger. Dried wheel tracks are a real hazard, especially for the novice, or the careless local, and should be approached at a sedate speed, or totally avoided if road conditions allow.
Theres plenty of places to camp along the roads, as long as you take your rubbish with you, when you leave. At night the stars come right down to your toes, it's God's country.....Enjoy it.
AnswerID: 9017

Reply By: Mike - Wednesday, Nov 27, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 27, 2002 at 01:00
Rob, You can travel from Maree to Birdsville in 1 day but we never have, as there's just too much to see. I would stop overnight at the magnificent Mungerannie Hotel camp ground, the hot spring is lovely and the birds around the billabong have to be seen. Allow at least a couple of nights in Birdsville, to allow you to see this beautiful town, (and to meet the lovely Ruth at the caravan park). The road to Boulia is an unknown, although I'm led to believe it's similar to the Birdsville track (check with Ruth). Not much to see in Boulia except the Min-Min Experience. The road north to Mt Isa is first class, although narrow of course, and travels through some magnificent country. It's an easy day run. You can go to Bourketown a couple of ways, the one we travelled this year, I would reccommend. Head west on the Camoweal Rd then towards Lawn Hill NP, via Riversliegh. We stayed overnight at Adel's Grove, much nicer than Lawn Hill camp ground. Although the roads on this section range from new bitumen to absolutely awful, it is an easy days drive and the country is wonderful. After Lawn Hill, a stay on the Gregory river is a beaut interlude, average roads again. North to Burketown, easy day, and you can stop in town or travel on to the leichhardt falls, which were dry when we travelled through, but had plenty of camping areas. The road across to Normanton is also an easy day run, but is very corrugated. Stay at Karuma point if you can get in and experience the sunset over the gulf from the Sunset point Tavern, simply Majic! That's the extent of my knowledge as we arrived at Karumba from the south, but my map shows bitumen all the way to Cairns from there. As has been said, and you have aknowledged, all these roads need to be taken carefully. We have had the usual replies, which only use this wonderful forum as an excuse to be able to abuse others. Please disregard these, as we do. The trip you are planning is through some unbelievable country and well worth taking, enjoy it. Hope this helps, Happy trails, Mike.
AnswerID: 9035

Follow Up By: Rob - Wednesday, Nov 27, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Nov 27, 2002 at 01:00
Mike, my wife and I thank you very much for sharing your experience with us. This is exactly the type of information we were looking for. We now have a much better idea of what to expect and see on this trip. We appreciate the time you took to help us.

Many, many thanks again.
Doris and Rob.
FollowupID: 4523

Reply By: Bob Y. - Saturday, Nov 30, 2002 at 01:00

Saturday, Nov 30, 2002 at 01:00
Rob, Follow on from Mike's info, there is quite a bit of bitumen between Bedourie and Boulia now, could be up to 80 kms. The road off Barkly H'way via Riversleigh, to Gregory, can be in excellent condition during May as they hold the canoe races at Gregory over May Day weekend. The roughest part of your whole trip will be the old section of the Barkly hwy, it's atrocious bitumen. Safe trip...
AnswerID: 9141

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