Trip Information Please

Submitted: Monday, Jan 08, 2007 at 22:41
ThreadID: 41014 Views:2005 Replies:9 FollowUps:8
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Hi all,

We are planning to leave Melbourne at the end of January and head off to Tibooburra/Boulia/Plenty Highway to the Alice and then south to Adelaide, back to Melbourne on a 3 week holiday.

Are there any known issues with this trip/at this time of year???

Thanks in advance.

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Reply By: Dave198 - Monday, Jan 08, 2007 at 23:00

Monday, Jan 08, 2007 at 23:00
I would say there will be many 40c + days, so be prepared.
At least it will be easy to find a camping spot, there won't be many others around at that time of the year.
Maybe a couple of fritz in britz but not nany others.
AnswerID: 214148

Follow Up By: Dave198 - Tuesday, Jan 09, 2007 at 00:49

Tuesday, Jan 09, 2007 at 00:49
Bear in mind, Peter, what you see on the official forecast, 40c + is only the temp in a shaded vented box where they take the official temps.
Out in the sun,add 12-14c to get the real temp, I.E. 52c + is very common.
Take a thermometer and watch it rise.
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Reply By: Punyboy - Tuesday, Jan 09, 2007 at 00:02

Tuesday, Jan 09, 2007 at 00:02
There will be no people travelling on the dirt roads and the temps will probably be 40ish during the day with very warm nights....
If you dont take the correct measures as far as communications and supplies and you get into trouble with mechanical issues you may die out there..
If your passengers dont know what to expect then i wouldnt put them through a trip out there this time of the year....
AnswerID: 214158

Follow Up By: P.G. (Tas) - Tuesday, Jan 09, 2007 at 06:51

Tuesday, Jan 09, 2007 at 06:51
Thanks for this information folks.

I was wondering if we might run into any serious water, ie wet season up north, getting stranded out there near some flooded creek or river?

We have the UHF/Sat-Phone/Next G for communication, 60l Waeco, Enough tools to do all but major surgery and radiator/heater hoses/fan belt, 30l water, 40l diesel and some recovery gear.

Got any idea how good the GU Patrols Air-Con is in these conditions? I have only been in mid 30's temp so far with it.

Thanks in advance again :-)
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Follow Up By: Matt.D (WA) - Tuesday, Jan 09, 2007 at 07:49

Tuesday, Jan 09, 2007 at 07:49
I would have thought that you would need to carry a lot more than 30l of water in case of emergency. That water would not last long in these temperatures even if used for drinking only. Whatever you do make sure you are well prepared because things do go wrong.

Cheers Matt.
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Follow Up By: Voxson - Tuesday, Jan 09, 2007 at 07:55

Tuesday, Jan 09, 2007 at 07:55
The air cond is fine,,,, but like Matt said,,,, 30litres of water is not enough....
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Follow Up By: Member - Banjo (WA) - Tuesday, Jan 09, 2007 at 08:52

Tuesday, Jan 09, 2007 at 08:52
We found in those temperatures that we were drinking around 5 litres each per day. It wasn't hard to do either.

Banjo (WA)
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Follow Up By: GaryInOz (Vic) - Tuesday, Jan 09, 2007 at 09:23

Tuesday, Jan 09, 2007 at 09:23
Count on about 5 litres per person per day MINIMUM (cooking and drinking, no washing of body). Add a safety margin of 50% to your expected time between water.

ie, 4 days between water, 2 adults 2 kids would be ~120 litres.

Take in small packages (jerries) rather than one large tank, due to possibility of leaks in the tank. Jerries easier to fill up too.
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Reply By: Willem - Tuesday, Jan 09, 2007 at 09:02

Tuesday, Jan 09, 2007 at 09:02
We who live in these climes, tend to seek shade or water in the summer, and we stay off the roads.

Nevertheless, there are those who want to go the hard yard and do things at the hottest time of the year(like yourselves). Good luck to you.

I would carry between 50 and 100 litres of water to be on the safe side. Make doubly sure that your Tyres are in good order. A small trolley jack is a good tool to have along.

Take Fly Nets for each person as the flies will drive you insane.

There is always a chance of a summer storm in Central Australia in February, especially if there has been cyclonic activity in the Top End. Gravel roads could get messy.

You can expect surface temperatures to reach between 50 and 70 degrees and the nights will be HOT. Camping will be very uncomfortable so airconditioned accommodation is always preferred.



AnswerID: 214190

Reply By: Ian from Thermoguard Instruments - Tuesday, Jan 09, 2007 at 09:36

Tuesday, Jan 09, 2007 at 09:36
Hi Peter,
Agree with all the above: Carry LOTS of water, the flies will be infuriating, you need tools and tyres (& spares). Make sure everyone understands what to do if there's a major breakdown - EVERYONE STAY WITH THE VEHICLE! An EPIRB wouldn't be a bad idea either.

And you are right about the possibility of flooded creeks & roads. If there's good rain in NW Qld/Barkly Tablelands in the next few weeks the roads around, and particularly west of Boulia, could be cut for weeks.

Phone ahead to the Police stations in the major towns to check conditions (collect all the phone nos before you go) - or better still, postpone your trip until after April when it will be a lot more pleasant out that way...
AnswerID: 214195

Reply By: lindsay - Tuesday, Jan 09, 2007 at 10:09

Tuesday, Jan 09, 2007 at 10:09
30 litres of water is not enough. I think you are mad.Your vehicle and tyres will need to be in top condition as that area is tough on tyres at the best of times, more so when the road surface could be 60 degrees plus. You will need to have sufficient water for radiator, if there is a leak or blown hoses. Carry adequate drinking water because if you get stuck out there , there aren't many travellers at that time of the year. 5 litres a day may be good enough for the cooler times of the year, however in the heat of summer it is a different situation.
It is an unforgiving country. By the look of your itinerary it would be fairly tight at the best of times. In the middle of summer it will be worse, but don't worry because you will only be driving as it will be to hot to do anything else. I spent a few days at Innaminka years ago in late October, there was a heat wave. It was not a pleasant time. Delay your trip to the winter and enjoy it. Don't become a statistic.
AnswerID: 214198

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Tuesday, Jan 09, 2007 at 10:20

Tuesday, Jan 09, 2007 at 10:20
What he said.
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Reply By: Hairy - Tuesday, Jan 09, 2007 at 11:03

Tuesday, Jan 09, 2007 at 11:03
I think its all been pretty well covered mate,
Except try about 15 Litres of water a day per person not 5 (or 5 litres and a carton!).
Stay on the busier roads like it sounds you are incase you do have a breakdown.
If your taking kids make sure they were a hat and make them drink plenty of water even if they arent thirsty!
We are already getting a bit of rain in Alice and its bloody humid so keep an eye on the weather.(might cool down a bit by then anyway)
I dont want to put you off but if you dont like the heat ( and face it you live in Melbourne) you might be better off sitting in an airconditioned car reading postcards because you brobably wont get to see much more.(joking!)
Not a lot of time to cover those miles either if you want to get out and see anything.
Seriously though you know how well you handle the heat and how reliable your vehicle is. No reason you cant make a bloody good holiday of it!
AnswerID: 214210

Follow Up By: P.G. (Tas) - Tuesday, Jan 09, 2007 at 14:09

Tuesday, Jan 09, 2007 at 14:09
Thanks to all those who have replied, it has be invaluable.

Perhaps I should have been a little clearer initially. There's only myself and partner travelling, and she who holds the purse strings insists on air-conned accommodation along the way. Unfortunately, this is the only time I can get my holidays, so it's now or next year in February.

The 30 litres of water was only ever intended for emergency use, we'll have a fridge full of coldies for normal use ;-)

My vehicles is an 04 3.0TD GU III Patrol with 55k on the clock, so I just figured a good service before we leave should take care of that. It has 60mm raised King Springs/Koni's underneath and I've got enough navigation gear to get me to the end of the Earth. Forgot to mention there's an epirb in the emergency first aid kit as well.

I have done the centre a few times now by myself but mostly in the cooler months and I have seen 42 degrees in the Alice in October, so I don't think heat will worry me, but it is a far cry from the weather here in Tassie.

The better half has toured FNQ but hasn't been to those area's I listed. She is becoming increasingly worried about be stranded out there.

We were planning on a few 1000k days and stopping at the places that interest us along the way, especially pubs with soft beds ;-).

Any other thoughts or comments are more than welcome.


FollowupID: 474485

Reply By: Hairy - Tuesday, Jan 09, 2007 at 14:15

Tuesday, Jan 09, 2007 at 14:15
Tooooo eeeeasy Mate,
Have a great trip!
AnswerID: 214234

Reply By: MickO13 - Thursday, Jan 11, 2007 at 22:06

Thursday, Jan 11, 2007 at 22:06
Hey P.G.,

Did it at xmas time last year. 48C under the verandah at the Innaminka hotel. You shouldn't have a worry. Say G'day to mad Pete at the Family Hotel in Tibooburra. The Bore track is a good alternative rather than the Strez from Camerons Corner up to B'ville. Road North to Boulia out of B'Ville is a breeze. Missus's Aircon only rule may take a hammering on the plenty but Tobermoray has a hot shower at least. Plenty Hwy may have a few bulldust patches as well. Always fun. Enjoy.
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

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AnswerID: 214807

Reply By: Member - MrBitchi (QLD) - Friday, Jan 12, 2007 at 09:22

Friday, Jan 12, 2007 at 09:22
"Mad dogs and Englishmen....." comes to mind. Too bloody hot for me out that way that time of year.
Be careful walking on tar sealed roads too. The tar melts and sticks to ya feet....
AnswerID: 214878

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